Old Robe Canyon | North Cascades | PNW

The Old Robe Canyon is a great trail with an interesting history and gorgeous views of the Stillaguamish river.

Length: 2.4 miles roundtrip
Gain: 350 feet
Highest Point: 1050 feet
Pets: Allowed on a leash
Level for Families: Easy to Moderate; Bring the kids!
Pass / Cost: No pass needed; FREE

Directions: From Granite follow Mountain Loop Highway east for 7 seven miles until coming to trailhead marked with brick sign. Note that the words can be hard to see on this sign! The trailhead is located directly across from Forest Road 41. Park along the shoulder of the Mountain Loop Highway. There are no trailhead amenities.

You will be able to easily spot the trailhead thanks to a large brick sign.

You will begin the trail going down about 5 turns of switchbacks. The trail is easy to follow, but be sure to stay on the trail and avoid the temptation of “shortcuts” others have started.

During our trip, there was still a little bit of snow on the trail and the ponds had been frozen.  There was a light drizzle, but it was perfect hiking weather.  Due to the weather, the trail wasn’t too crowded and I loved seeing little kids adventuring with their families.

The trail follows along the Stillaguamish River.  During our hike (early spring), the river was fast moving.  We saw a handful of kayakers heading down the river.

This trail is a very easy trail and kid friendly.  There are some downed trees to climb over and a few places you will need to watch your balance, but nothing major.  The “moderate” part of this trail is going back up the 5 turns of switchbacks at the end. If you are new to hiking or have some health concerns, you can still do this trail. Just be sure to take your time as you head up.

My favorite part was the waterfall at the end of the trail. Based on previous reports on this trail I thought we’d be able to make it to the train tunnels. However, due to landslides and downed trees, the tunnels are not accessible. Or rather, you should not attempt to hike to them There is a very clear sign asking you to stop the trail right at the waterfall.

During our visit, the rocks just below the falls were slippery.  With the fast moving river so close, keep an eye on your little ones. There is room to scamper across the rocks. We stopped and enjoyed a quick snack and visit by the river.

My favorite part of this trail is the history! This use to be an old railroad and you can still see signs of its previous life. 120 years ago, railroad crews built tracks along this flood-prone river to connect the mines at Monte Cristo with the smelters in Everett. Due to rock slides and repair costs, the line was eventually abandoned.

View more beautiful images from The Old Robe Canyon Historic Trail  in our gallery below!

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For up to date trail conditions, visit: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/old-robe-canyon#trailhead-map

 

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