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Barlow Pass
Trip Report

Barlow Pass

Barlow Pass

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.02650°N / 121.444°W

Object Title: Barlow Pass

Date Climbed/Hiked: Dec 18, 2010

Activities: Hiking

Season: Winter


Page By: Elizabeth Riggin

Created/Edited: Dec 19, 2010 / Dec 24, 2010

Object ID: 685953

Hits: 4252 

Page Score: 75.81%  - 6 Votes 

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Trail Head

On my first snowshoeing of the season, I wanted it to be easy. So my friends and I set out to Barlow Pass. We first stopped by the MT Baker/Snoqualmie Ranger Station (which is located after Granite Falls) to check out the National Forest Highway 20 (Mountain Loop Hwy). The Forest Ranger said that Barlow Pass was open and had about 12 inches of pressed powder on the ground.
Barlow Pass

On Barlow Pass Trail

So we jumped into my Subaru and set out for Barlow Pass. You will drive about seventeen miles on a good road, with a few graveled sections and downed trees. A well maintained road. After the Barlow Pass parking area, you have a gentle climb. Hike about a mile. Here you cross over a large volcanic outcrop. Then another half mile you reach a signed junction. Keep right. You will see in front of you the Big Four Mountain and Hall Peak. To the Northeast the Mount Pugh and Bedal Peak. I also partially saw Silvertip and Sheep Mountain. Do remember to bring a map to identify the peaks. It was a perfect day to snowshoe. No wind, no rain and absolutely no bears! Just the magnificent peaks above you and the fresh packed powder of whiteness below your feet.
Joy of the day

Snowshoe Friends

We trekked about one mile to the river, because the river had a lot of down trees. So we only did a little over two miles on that trail. But on the way back, we stopped by the Ice Caves and did a short hike.
Going to Ice Caves


Along trail to Ice Caves...


Barlow Pass elevation gain is 720m, 2,362 feet. It is on the west side of the Cascade Range in Washington State. It is on the Mountain Loop Hwy between Silverton and Darrington. It is a great trail for snowshoe beginners.

Bridge on trail to Ice Caves

Down trees on the Ice Cave trail...

Dusk at thr Ice Cave Tail Head..

I plan to go back and do some snowshoeing on the Monte Cristo trail, which is located just off the Barlow Pass trail. Both trail head's are popular all year round. But on the Monti Cristo trail head you will hike up to an old mining town of the 1890's (4 miles one way). Got to love snowshoeing, and spending time in the winter wonderland of snow and ice.

1st snowshoeing trek 2010

"That figure whose attitude best expresses the passion that moves it is most worthy of praise." -LEONARDO DA VINCI

Red Tape

Remember you need a MT Baker day pass to park your vehicle at the Barlow Pass trail head parking area.
Time Out


1st snowshoeing trek 2010Going to Ice CavesNear Monte Cristo Trail HeadBarlow PassSnowshoe FriendsJoy of the dayFun...
Along trail to Ice Caves...On Barlow Pass TrailTime OutBarlow PassDusk at thr Ice Cave Tail Head..Down trees on the Ice Cave trail...Bridge on trail to Ice Caves


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jdzahariaNeat Area


Voted 10/10

You'll enjoy Monte Cristo in the snow.
Posted Dec 23, 2010 4:44 pm

Elizabeth RigginRe: Neat Area

Elizabeth Riggin

Hasn't voted

Thanks! When did you explore Monte Cristo?
Posted Dec 23, 2010 10:36 pm

jdzahariaRe: Neat Area


Voted 10/10

Thanksgiving weekend, 2005. The weather was a little drizzle in Everett, and even a little ice. As we travelled toward Barlow Pass, it was snowing harder and harder, and we were the first tracks on the road. We hiked up to Monte Cristo and had the entire townsite to ourselves, and the snow quit while we were there, which made for beautiful photos. We started seeing other hikers and XC skiers when we were about half way down. The parking lots for Monte Cristo and the Ice Caves, that were empty earlier, were completely packed with people and cars. I am looking at a photo of my wife and I in Monte Cristo in the snow on my desk as I type this.
Posted Dec 27, 2010 9:46 am

Viewing: 1-3 of 3