Our Regular Work Parties End for the Season

On Saturday October 22nd we had a good turnout to complete a variety of tasks before November rains and winter snows return. After taking down our clay slide informational bulletin board for storage we convoyed in to Monte Cristo. Following recent storms, we cleared downed trees and debris across both the Forest Service access and county roads, along with filling in a blocking washout below Hap’s Hill.

In the town we continued brushing between the site of the old lodge and Sunday Creek, repaired some vandalism damage, and brushed the trail from 76 Creek to Dumas Street up to the Kyes Memorial. Our new laminated photo/text signs have withstood weather and a few removals. We look forward to installing more in the spring when they are scheduled to be joined by the new Forest Service CERCLA funded metal ones.

Thank you to everyone who helped out this year! It was a challenging one following the months of hazmat exclusion.

October 10/22 Work Party is on

Last work party of year is scheduled for 10/22. Meet at Barlow pass gate by 9:00 AM. We will begin by clearing some windfalls on the old Monte Cristo Road then remove our bulletin board at the clayslide. We’ll then head up the new access road to complete whatever tasks remain in the townsite.

Contact us as found on the “Contact Us” page above if interested in joining us for this last work party of 2016.

October Work Party 10/15

We will meet on Saturday 10/15 for the last work party of the 2016 year. We will start by disassembling the MCPA map board located at the clayslide, then drive into the townsite (on the new access road) to complete any repairs for the year, additional townsite brushing, work on Dumas street trail and brushing, work on cleaning up the MCPA townsite lot for the future interpretive site, plus any other work needing completed. The Silver Lake trail may also need some maintenance. We need several persons to help with the bulletin board removal.

We should meet at the Barlow Pass early enough to get in and remove the map board and then meet at the new access gate (1 mile down Mountain Loop Highway) at 9:00.

Anyone (members and non-members) are welcome to join us; non-members will have to carpool with us into the townsite from the MLH.

See the contact us page if any questions.

September 17 Work Party

Come join us 9:00 AM for the September 17 work party. Our main goal at this work party will be working to salvalge our timber pile from the banks of Glacier Creek, and major brushing in and around the townsite. We obtained the fisheries permit to allow the work near the creek. We will meet at the new access road gate, 1 mile north of Barlow Pass, at 9:00 AM, and drive in together as a group. We will likely work until about 2:00 to allow time to return the gate key to Verlot. Extra help with the timber pile would be fantastic. We will also have brushcutters available for anyone who wants to work in the townsite. Any questions, email us from the “Contact” page.

Area Closure Lifted and June 2016 Work Party

The Forest Service rescinded the Monte Cristo Area closure on June 3, 2016, making the entire area again open to the public.

Access is difficult at best, with several new washouts, a mud slide at 3/4 mile from Barlow pass, and a Sauk River crossing. The new access road (1/2 mile north of Barlow Pass) avoids the river crossing, but adds 1 mile to the trip, incurs many rises and falls, and has a few washouts of it’s own.

The forest service plans to have most road repairs (only on the new route) completed by July 4.

The MCPA will have it’s first monthly work party on June 18. We will meet at the gate at Barlow Pass at 9:00 AM. We plan to improve road & trail conditions up to Twin Bridges, including creating a new bypass trail to reach the Weden Creek trailhead; the existing bypass trial was made inaccessible by a river which chose a new route last winter.

MCPA members and the public are welcome and encouraged to attend the work party. You can choose whatever type of work you are suited for – trail building, brush cutting, log & rock moving, etc. Bring whatever implements you feel appropriate. If you are a member with a signed road waiver you can drive into the work location; others can ride in member vehicles, room permitting. We typically work from 9:00 until 12 or 1, then have a group lunch and then disperse.

Any questions, see the ‘contact’ page.

Annual Meeting June 4 2016 Verlot

Our annual meeting for members is behind the Verlot Service Center on Saturday, June 4, at noon. Please bring a good side dish for our usual potluck lunch to enjoy prior to the meeting.

The MCPA will provide brats, drinks, utensils, plates, cups, etc. If you know you are coming late, contributing to the potluck is not necessary; we always have more than enough !

Please note we are not able to use the parking lot behind the service center. We will need to park in the front or across the highway.

We hope to have someone from the Forest Service present to answer any questions for the upcoming year. And our board will be present, as always, to also review our plans for work parties and answer any questions. All in all, it is shaping up to be one of our busiest years ever. So please consider volunteering for one or more work parties.


Public access to Monte Cristo and its hiking trails is closed until further notice. This is due to the court ordered U.S. Forest Service’s hazardous materials cleanup.

The public still will be allowed to park at Barlow Pass and hike the mile into Twin Bridges and the Gothic Basin trailhead. The closure boundary follows the east bank of the South Fork Sauk River and includes all campgrounds and other trails in the area. Thus there is no access to either Glacier Basin or Silver Lake trails. Closure Map

Work Party October 24, 2015

Our last work party of the year will be October 24. We plan to do some final minor repairs to the Weden outhouse and we will remove our bulletin board. We will drive in on the new road, and plan to dig water bars on some of the trails and do some other miscellaneous work in the Town site area. Meet us at the road new entrance (~1 mile north of Barlow pass) at 9:00 am. Please bring rain gear, appropriate clothing for doing light construction and brushing. Also bring your and lunch food and water. This will be our last work party for the year. Contact any of the listed board members for more information.

We are planning again, for our Winter Social. Please mark your calendars for Saturday, February 6 at 5:30 at the Marysville Jennings Farm. Our program this year will be a very nice slide presentation of the Monte Cristo area, both from the old days and from the present. A postcard will be mailed to our members with all the pertinent information on it. Anyone from past Town site programs and all Forest Service staff are also invited. The presentation will be given by David Cameron and Louise Lindgren.


Currently, the cleanup is well along: the repository has been filling up with mine tailings. It looks as big as a football field. The cleared trees have been decked for trucking out at a later date. The concentrator is cleaned up and the excavation has vastly improved the exposure of the hand built rock wall foundation (even some timber framed windows have been exposed). A road has been excavated for cleanup access along the Glacier Basin trail to well past the Comet Mine Bunker. The Comet was carefully excavated so most of the timbers were preserved in place. They are also trying to preserve the timbers of the old trestle as it approaches the concentrator but much excavating must be finished in this area of high contamination. A new road also goes up to the Rainy Mine on the north side of Glacier Creek and a temporary bridge also crosses the Creek to access the United Companies Concentrator and beyond. Of course these roads will all be torn apart and put back to their original state when the cleanup is finished. Many undiscovered artifacts have been set aside during the cleanup. In summary, we are very grateful that the Forest Service has been so careful, showing much interest in preserving this area for everyone.

Photos of excavation in process and some discovered artifacts