Jump to content
American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

Washington's Route 9, Mountain Loop Road And Some Fairly Abandoned Places

Recommended Posts

This Sunday (on a rare weekend day off for me), Sarah and I took Washington's beautiful Route 9 north to the Canadian border. I've been meaning to do this for a long time now. We then hopped over towards Mt. Baker.





The real joy of the trip (for me) was the Mountain Loop Road. It's a full circle, but we only took about half of it. Thankfully, the half that we took was just reopened last year after being closed for five years. It's a dirt road for a lot of it and apparently part of something called Sauk-Monte Cristo Mountain Road, built in 1891. The railroad came two years later and the road was basically abandoned.


The railroad took a bit different direction, however. It followed another part of the Mountain Loop Highway, which didn't exist until 1941 (and wasn't fully opened until after the war. So for nearly 50 years, the only way to get to the towns along this stretch was by rail. That's pretty impressive.


The road was often built on the old RR bed (the rails sold to Japan in 1936 - also interesting). There doesn't seem to be that much out there about the history of this place. Monte Cristo, now only accessible by a 4 mile hike, has a historical society. A fellow named David Cameron seems to do a lot of the historical writings about it and the surrounding areas. I remember his name from the Stevens Pass Highway stuff.



Anyway, we took a mess o' pictures. You can check them out here.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...