Hazel Trailhead

There’s a little gravel pull-off along the side of Highway 530 between Arlington and Darrington, Wa. You wouldn’t think from just driving by that there is plenty to explore here as well as richness in history of a town long forgotten. From the parking area you have the choice to let your eyes feast upriver…

Monte Cristo Townsite

From 1899 to 1907 Monte Cristo was a mining town. Harvesting mainly gold and Silver. Later on it became a resort town and now a well preserved ghost town. Something we don’t see enough of in the dampness of the great PNW. The hike out to the townsite is an adventure in its own. You…

Hidden Lake Lookout

In the back country of Marblemount, Wa is a long, steep trail that leads you on an a painstaking adventure you will never forget. Like every hike there is a beginning a middle and an end, but this one has well defined chapters. The first leg of your journey gets you to work right away…

Sauk-Suiattle Indian Cemetery

Way out past Darrington, WA is an Indian reservation and beyond that is a quiet, secluded place where they have laid their people to rest for over a century now. The Sauk-Suiattle Cemetery is sacred ground and you can sense it just being there. Several miles through dense, pristine wilderness on the Suiattle River Road…

White Chuck Boat Launch

Launch your boats, cast your lines, skip some rocks or go for a nature walk at the White Chuck boat launch. I spent the day here combing the beach and hiking the fishing trail that hugs the riverside. This is a scenic spot where the White Chuck River and the Sauk River join forces. The…

Elliot Creek and Goat Lake

I had a day to myself and decided to go on a solo hike to one my favorite local hikes. The Elliot Creek & Goat Lake Trail is situated along the Mountain Loop Highway between Granite Falls and Darrington, Wa. It’s a long 10.4 miles roundtrip with a 1400 foot elevation gain. Not too far…

Buck Creek Campground

Buck Creek Campground is way out on the Suiattle River Road outside of Darrington, WA. It’s one of the more rustic campgrounds I’ve seen. If you like the conveniences of a reserved camping spot and access to at least a vault toilet, but want to be in the thick of nature, then you are in…

Howard Miller Steelhead Park

Howard Miller Steelhead Park is located in the very small and charming town of Rockport, Wa. Howard Miller was a Skagit County Commissioner and helped facilitate the initial purchase of the first 15 acres of this park in 1966. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the park was dedicated in his honor and 88 more…

Lower Baker Dam

Operated by Puget Sound Energy, the Lower Baker Dam is located just a mile above the confluence of the Baker and Skagit Rivers. Spanning Eden Canyon at 550 feet wide and 285 feet high. With the holding capacity of around 160,000 acres of water from the massive Lake Shannon above. This arch dam, designed for…

Washington Portland Cement Plant

In 1905 the apparent surplus of limestone in the Skagit Valley area and New York money brought the Washington Portland Cement Company to the Eastern banks of the Baker River. The area was then appropriately named Cement City”. This particular plant was first, but not the only. Just across river, in the town of Baker,…

Backman County Park

Backman County Park in Darrington, WA is your best bet for getting your watercraft launched onto the blue waters of the Sauk River if you’re coming from the Mountain Loop Highway. There’s a decent amount of parking and a single honey bucket on site, but not much else. Just easy access to one of the…

Lake Shannon

Lake Shannon outside of Concrete, Wa is a recreational paradise. This massive reservoir of the Baker River stretches 7.5 miles long and over a half mile wide when it is full. All this water is held back by an arch dam built in the 1920s for Puget Sound Energy’s Baker River Hydroelectric Project. There’s a…