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Monte Cristo - Silver and Twin Lakes Trails

Backcountry Response Team

Wed Jul 7, 2021 8:30 AM — Sun Jul 11, 2021 3:30 PM

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North Cascades — Mountain Loop Highway - Darrington

Features: Earn Northwest Forest Pass

Crew Leader: Emily Snyder

Twin Lakes Shoreline Photo by TRohn


Camp at the historic townsite of Monte Cristo and help us improve the Silver Lake and Twin Lakes trail as it climbs up towards Poodle Dog Pass.

About the Area

Take a nice long walk up the old Monte Cristo Road grade and stop by the townsite on your way. Rougher terrain begins upon entering the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness area, and past Silver Lake, the trail becomes difficult to find. Trek along a steep mountain-side before finally cresting the ridge to look down on Twin Lakes.

What to Expect

We'll have fun, work hard and make a difference! No experience is necessary.

Project Description

Work along these trails will prioritize removing encroaching vegetation and general tread repair near trail junctions, especially near Silver Lake.

Camping and Hiking Information

  • Type: Backcountry camp
  • Location Monte Cristo
  • Shower: None
  • Weather: Be prepared for variable conditions including heat, cold, wind and rain
  • Hike to camp: Backcountry country camp is 4.1 miles of easy hiking from the trailhead
  • Anticipate 5-9 miles roundtrip of hiking to work sites each day from the campsite


  • Day 1: Meet the crew rain or shine, then hike in, begin work on the project and set up camp
  • Day 2+: Make breakfast and pack a lunch before heading out on trail with the crew by 8:00 AM. Work at your own pace, take plenty of breaks and enjoy lunch on the trail. Arrive back in camp by 4:00 or 5:00 PM for a relaxing evening. Prepare your own dinner and swap stories with the crew.
  • Final Day: Break down camp, finish trail project, hike out and say goodbye to the crew at the trailhead

       For safety reasons, arriving late or leaving early is not allowed.

Planning Information

Please wear comfortable and weather-appropriate work clothes and your boots as well as comfortable camp clothes and footwear.

What it Takes to Do This Work Party

  • A great attitude for working with a team!
  • Camping gear, trail work gear and food for multiple nights
  • Good physical condition to be physically active for about 7 hours daily on uneven terrain
  • Backpacking experience recommended
  • Day work party experience recommended
  • Flexibility to adapt to changes due to unpredictable weather or land manager requests
  • Minimum age: 18

What to Bring

  • Boots
  • Long pants 
  • Work gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt recommended
  • Eye protection recommended (glasses, sunglasses or safety glasses)

A hard hat will be provided by WTA. For safety reasons, shorts and sneakers are not allowed.

Backpacking Gear

  • Backpack to carry all of the items below
  • Cooking gear and enough food (plus a little extra) for the entire trip
  • Tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • At least two 1-liter water bottles; hot drink cup optional
  • Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Extra warm clothing
  • Camp clothing such as shorts, shirt and sandals
  • Sun and bug protection
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • Personal items such as medication, hand sanitizer and toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Lunch and snacks for Day 1
  • A sense of fun and adventure!

Trail work gear

  • Your WTA hard hat if you already have one
  • Boots
  • Long pants
  • Work gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt recommended
  • Eye protection recommended (glasses, sunglasses or safety glasses)
  • Day pack (optional)
  • A hard hat will be provided by WTA if you don't have one (let your crew leader know). For safety reasons, shorts and sneakers are not allowed while working. Firearms and weapons are not allowed.

Firearms and weapons are not allowed.

More Information

From the Hiking Guide

See what WTA's hiking guide and trip reports say about this area.

A My Backpack account is required. You will be asked to register or log in before you can join.

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Drive east on Hwy 92 from Everett to Granite Falls. Proceed through town and turn left on the Mountain Loop Highway. Continue past the ranger station at Verlot and continue another thirty minutes to Barlow Pass where Hwy 20 turns to gravel. The gated road to Monte Cristo is on the right.

Note: Please follow the written directions above instead of using a GPS device. This will ensure that you get to the correct meeting location for this work party. The location of the pinpoint below is only approximate.

Getting to WTA work parties can involve travel on rough, unpaved roads in areas without cellular service and without street addresses that can be accurately used by navigation devices. Unless specifically noted otherwise, routes can generally be traveled by all types of vehicles. Volunteers with limited experience driving on unpaved mountain roads may want to allow extra time, beyond what is recommended in the directions above, to get to the meeting location.

Required Documentation

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Find a ride, give a ride with people who also want to carpool.