Our 10-day trip home to Washington State for the holidays was spent with family, food, and… the flu. But we did manage to get a couple excursions in, like a hike through the Robe Canyon Historic Trail near Granite Falls.
With my mom and a chubby puppy in tow, we initially planned to hike the Boardman and Evan Lake Trail but that portion of the road on Mountain Loop Highway was closed due to heavy snowfall.
Old Robe Trail was still accessible so we decided to hike to the old townsite then decide what to do from there.
The first portion of the trail has a fairly steep descent with lots of switchbacks. It runs for less than 1/2 a mile before flattening out. Easy on the way down… but a lot tougher on the way up.
Big foot! …but on a much, much smaller scale (about 12 pounds small).
The Stillaguamish River.
Not much of the original townsite remains. What is left is covered in snow, mud, and moss.
The original Robe townsite was established in 1892/93 and was a major producer of lumber and shingles. With its rapidly growing population of 200 citizens and the location not being accommodating, the decision to move the town was made in 1907. It is now called Robe Valley.
The original townsite was once a stop along the Everett & Monte Cristo Railroad, which was primarily used to ship gold ore from the Monte Cristo mines to factories in Everett. Much of the train track is still visible along the trail.
This area is prone to land slides and flooding. Much of the trail is closed with signs posted.
The first tunnel (Tunnel #5) is at the 1.7 mile point and requires a bit of scrambling to get to. We decided that would be our turn around point.
Old Robe Trail Overview
- Coordinates: 48.110152, -121.856550
- Fees: FREE
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Usage: Moderate
- Length: 3.4 Miles Round Trip (to the 1st tunnel)
- Things to note:
- This area is prone to land slides. Use caution & common sense if proceeding beyond the warning signs.
- Bring a flashlight for the tunnels.
- Pets allowed: Yes
- Camera info: iPhone 7+