Summary: The trail begins in a second growth forest and then descends to the former mill town of Robe. The trail is flat until it joins the river then steep hillsides and the results of years of erosion take over.
When following along the route, you take a step back in history, as this rail-trail was instrumental in the Monte Cristo gold rush days. The land in places was so steep that tunnels were placed in frequent location along the line. Use caution when entering these tunnels.
The first tunnel #6 is at approximately 1.4 miles. At 1.7 miles is tunnel #5, which is 250 ft. long and on a slight curve. Tunnel #4 was removed by the railroad and is now a cut with a rockslide at the west end. Just beyond this point is a huge rock wall built up from the river to the grade. Further along is tunnel #3 which has collapsed.
This trail is on private land.
Trailhead: From the Verlot Public Center (11 miles east of Granite Falls), travel west on the Mountain Loop Highway 3.9 mile to the trailhead on the left (south).
Trail Guides for Old Robe Trail:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (800) 627-0062
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Peter Koths, who has posted 1 other hike on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 4 Submit your own review
Reviewed by SS on 7/31/2014
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Reviewed by Yeehaw on 2/26/2014
I hiked this trail this weekend. I'd never seen the train tunnels before, as I'm kind of new to the north of Seattle area. I went with a friend, and there was a lot of snow. Not heavy amounts of it, but enough that it was barely coating the slush and slight bits of ice on the ground. Once you hike in about 1/8 mile from the road, the trail turns into steep switchbacks that would probably be easier to do if not for the snow. Once we got down to the bottom of that part of the trail, it was gorgeous. There are a couple little swamp things that had flooded over and wiped out the trail. 1 mile in part of the trail is taken out, and 1.2 is as far as you can go due to slides. BRING EXTRA PANTS/SHOES
Reviewed by Scott on 1/18/2011
Took the hike around 1pm on 1/16. Lots of new trees down. Stilliguamish was insane with storm surge. I now have photo proof that the water rises up on the tracks. Insane dangerous. Trail is all but washed away once u reach the water. U now must forge a path. Do-able. I'll post storm pics on www.iPhlogger.com this week.
Reviewed by Randy on 8/9/2010
Was not familiar with this hike, and was camping further up river. Drizzly day, that did not impact the hike much, though slick rocks can warrant caution. The first portion down from the road is steep with lots of switch backs. If you have issues with strenuous uphill hikes, think about this before you go down. Next the trail goes through some nice mossy bogs on dry elevated path to the river. The portion along the river is pleasant and affords many points to access the river itself. More stands of tall moss draped trees. As you enter the canyon, you are traveling on the old rail bed grade. You'll notice poured concrete and timbers mixed with stone rubble to make the raised rail bed. No tracks are visible, though some spikes are.
Reviewed by Karnov on 9/29/2009
Finally passed the washed under retaining wall and found the entrance to another tunnel, the western portal of which was blocked by a massive rockslide, a narrow, precarious trail leads up and over it but is potentially very dangerous, a fall from there would almost certainly result in death. Nice enough view though.
Reviewed by Chris and Becca on 8/19/2009
It was a nice hike. The trailhead was not very well marked, just a brick sign with the word Robe very faded. We saw lots of harmless snakes in the vegetation on the side of the trail. We also saw a few small frogs and one big one. There was a sign BEFORE the first tunnel that said no hikers allowed after the sign. We saw another hiker coming from there and he said the sign has been there for years. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND TAKING YOUNG CHILDREN PAST THE SIGN. The rocks are tricky. Older kids would be fine. The first tunnel we came to was good. It was dark and cool, but our eyes adjusted quickly.
Reviewed by Scott on 7/22/2009
Took the hike on 7/12. It was a rainy morning so it kept most away until I was on the way back out. Very slippery. New trees down along the hike. Went all the way to tunnel 3. Getting more and more dangerous to go past tunnel 5. There is a in fact a tree down on the retaining wall "bridge" before tunnel 3. You can see pics at www.iphlogger.com
Reviewed by Mandy on 6/3/2009
We liked this hike last time so we went back again today. There were a lot of trees down over the trails and even more slides then last time. Right now you canâ€™t really go any farther then the 1st tunnel. Total time for this including pictures was only 1.5 hours.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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