The Hiker Mama

Old Sauk River

Distance: 1-mile ADA loop, or up to 6 miles RT up and back.

Elevation Gain: Minimal gain, to 150 feet on entire trail

Season: Year-round

Maps: Green Trails Silverton No. 110

Description: Walk along a wild and scenic river, shaded by old growth trees. This is a peaceful, simple hike, but the rewards are immense. In the winter it’s open while higher elevation hikes are buried in snow. In summer it’s shady and green, lush and cool, and allows some safe places to play in the water. In all seasons, it’s a lonely hike, practically ensuring solitude and quiet. There are three trailheads for this hike. The northern trailhead is closest to Darrington, and lets you hike from one end of the trail to the other. The middle trailhead, slightly more than a mile down the road, allows access to the ADA Loop and has outhouses. The southern trailhead has room for a couple of cars on the side of the road, where Murphy Creek crosses the Mountain Loop Highway. We love this hike for its huckleberries, river play, interesting rocks in the creek, and just plain beauty. I think it’s one of the most underrated hikes in the area.

Directions: From Seattle, drive north on I-5 to Exit #208, Arlington/Darrington. Head east on Hwy 503 until the town of Darrington. At the T interesction with the Mountain Loop Highway, turn right (south) and travel south for approximately 3.6 miles to the first trailhead. The bigger trailhead with outhouses is another 1.8 miles further south.

Links: Read our trip report here. Read the WTA description here.