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…

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…

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…

Frog Lake

Frog Lake in Darrington, WA is well named because it is actually full of frogs. Visit here in Spring and Summer and I bet you will spot a few. At 1.5 acres it’s just a tiny little lake with a quiet, Northwest setting. There’s just enough room from the bank to cast a line or…

White Chuck Bench Trail

I showed up to the trailhead to the White Chuck Bench Trail outside of Darrington, Wa and found these signs. “Trail work ahead closed to public use” and “Workers riding motorcycles may be on trail.” Normally the thought of missing out on a trail would bum me out, but I am totally excited about this….

Dot City Park

I have lived in this town for several years now and hadn’t ever stopped at Dot City Park. Even though I drive by it often I’m sure glad I did, as I really could see the work that has gone into this little pocket park in Darrington, Wa. Dorothy “Dot” Larson had donated the land…

Peak-a-boo Lake Recon Mission

Earlier this year my cousin Tom and I attempted a Snowshoe Trip to Peak-a-boo Lake in Darrington, Wa. Unfortunately, the snow just got too deep and we had to turn back. Nothing bothers me more than a failed mission, so this last weekend I drug my husband and dog with me to finally finish what…

Camping on the White Chuck River

For Father’s Day weekend I wanted to take my husband somewhere relaxing and we ended up on the banks of the White Chuck River outside of Darrington, Wa. There are several free campsites in the area with great river access. Ours was just perfect! It was secluded with sandy patches to pitch our tent on…

Red Mountain Lookout

The hike to Red Mountain Lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness area of Washington is one that will bring you back in time. It’s one of the most remote areas of the state. The trail is swarmed with ancient old growth along with several culturally modified trees from early Native American inhabitants. Being there was…

Abandoned Dearinger Campground

William C. Dearinger State Forest Campground is a mouthful to say, so most just call it Dearinger Campground. William was an employee with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources with a passion for preserving the natural state of the area. In 1981, after his death, the land along the Suiattle River was dedicated in…

Lookout Tree Trail

I am inclined to tell you that this is an easy hike down to Lookout Tree, but it is a 200ft drop taking you through 1/4 mile of not very well trodden wilderness. So, yes it is short, but you will be feeling the calf burn on the way back up. The hike used to…

Squire Creek Park & Campground

I had an impromptu day off today and invited a new friend out to see The Old Growth Reserve Trail. On my way home I decided to stop and explore the Squire Creek Park and It’s campground since I had only ever really driven through it. I am really glad to have stopped. Since it…

Beaver Lake Trail

It sure was a beautiful, hot Spring day as my husband and I made our way to Beaver Lake just outside of Darrington, Wa. A 4.2 mile roundtrip trek with 100 feet in elevation gain. We took our time to really explore as this is one we’ve done a few times already. In 1926 a…

Squire Creek Trail

Just a few minutes from the town of Darrington is the trailhead to Squire Creek. There was a recent washout before the actual trailhead, but park your car at the road closure and you’re not far off. Just mind the drop off. This hike is 8.5 miles roundtrip with a 2,566 foot elevation gain. Some…

White Chuck Overlook

Sometimes you just have to do mundane things in creative ways. After work this particular evening my husband and I rushed home to pull a picnic dinner together and we set off to find a dining spot out in nature. Dinner at home just wasn’t going to cut it. We ended up going to the…

East Sauk River Bar Trail

Wow, just wow! Exploring this section of the Sauk River is an experience that will stay with you and keep you longing to come back. There is just so much beauty to take in and it calls to you from every which direction. Getting there isn’t too difficult either. You follow the Old Growth Reserve…

Old Growth Reserve Trail

Photo credit Charlie Duncan Photography The Old Growth Reserve Trail is located in an area outside of Darrington called Sauk Prairie. Once Home to the Sauk Suiattle Tribe. To experience this hidden treasure is like traveling to a mythical land. The greenery is like no other. First you will barely fit your vehicle off the…

Oso Landslide Memorial

March 22nd 2014 I was on my way up Highway 530 to view a property we had just placed an offer on outside of Darrington. It was late morning on a Saturday when traffic was being diverted just past Oso. I rolled my window down as I came up on a fireman and asked him…

Oso Pioneer Cemetery 1888-1935

Way out in the little mountain town of Oso, Washington sits a nearly forgotten and well hidden little cemetery. The picturesque landscape that surrounds it gives you a sense of why way back in 1888 it was chosen as a final resting place, arguably, for some of the toughest pioneers in the area. Their reason…

Sauk-Suiattle Conservation Area

Not too long ago this land was rededicated to the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe for creating a healthy, productive salmon habitat along the Sauk River. I went to check up on the progress today and I couldn’t have picked a more beautiful morning. My pup, Angel, thought so too. There was still a good amount of snow…

Snowshoeing at Swede Heaven (Whitehorse Tr)

This morning I awoke to yet another blanket of fluffy snow in the neighborhood. My car was stuck in the driveway and I just had to get out. Cabin fever was setting in so I strapped my snowshoes to my back, grabbed some hiking poles and hiked out to the Swede Heaven Trailhead on the…

Old School Park – Darrington

Snow covered Old School Park by Charlie Duncan Photography. Click to view “Impending Storm” time lapse! In the heart of Darrington, Wa sits Old School Park. If you are coming from out of town you have probably been oohing and ahhing out the car window the whole way due to the spectacular scenery. Once you…

The Old Cloverdale Farm – Whitehorse Trail

The Whitehorse Trail spans 27 miles from Arlington to Darrington, Wa. Connecting from the Centennial trail and following the North Fork Stillaguamish River upstream along an old BNSF railroad grade. The line was originally laid in 1901 and served several mill and mining operations along the way. This afternoon I thought I would make a…

Teepee Falls

My husband and I took a drive this afternoon up the Suiattle River Road outside of Darrington, Wa. We hit a little bit of snow, but made it just fine to our destination and even beyond. My sights were on something I had driven over several times, but didn’t know was there. 6.75 miles up…

Boulder River (Falls) Trail

Here’s a hike that is just a few minutes from my house and really has quite a bit to offer. This brisk and beautiful Saturday morning I decided to take a solo trip up the Boulder River trail. It’s an 8.6 Mile round trip hike with 700 gradual feet in elevation gain, but you can…

Fortson Mill Ghost Town

This morning my husband and I had to run down below (that’s what Darrington folks call going to town). On the way I wanted to stop at Fortson to get some photos to accompany the story I’m about to tell you. The history of a town that could have made it, but didn’t. As we…