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View Full Version : Looking for Destinations in WA



Fairlane500
05-30-2006, 09:23 PM
I'm planning on doing some hikes with a friend or two over the summer, and I was wondering if anyone knew of any good ghost town sites in Washington, preferrable the western half, to hike to.

I already have Monte Cristo down as a destination, but can anyone recommend any others?

NWNative
06-02-2006, 10:55 PM
The western part of the state is so wet that there is not a lot of stuff left. We/ve found some rail beds and some piers left from trestle in Brooklyn. There are some partial ghosts but you can drive to those.
Franklin is interesting for the history but other than the cemetery and some history markers it's pretty much gone. Nice walk though.
There are some east of the mountains that are not too far east. A site to check out for those is
http://www.ghosttownsusa.com/index.htm

Ghostdancer
06-05-2006, 06:31 AM
I've been to the Seattle area five times in as many years to visit a relative who lives in Bellevue and have checked up on ghost towns there. There doens't seem to be that many, but I have been to Liberty east of Seattle which was of interest.

During one of my visits I drove to the other side of Puget Sound to Dungeness which has an intersting old school. Pt. Gamble is not a ghost town, but an old historic community which is worth a visit.

At Port Discovery is the remain of an old mill in a quite photogenic setting.

Now, when I visit again I'm determined to see Lester. And yes, I'd like to check out Monte Cristo.


Tom

Fairlane500
06-05-2006, 09:28 PM
Thanks for the advice. Over the past few days, I've actually compiled a few destinations, namely Lester, Nighthawk, Clallam Bay, and a site at Goat Lake.

Of course, an interestin, but forgotten ghost town is my home community of Newcastle, which features the extensive site of an old mining community.

Ghostdancer
06-05-2006, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the advice. Over the past few days, I've actually compiled a few destinations, namely Lester, Nighthawk, Clallam Bay, and a site at Goat Lake.

Of course, an interestin, but forgotten ghost town is my home community of Newcastle, which features the extensive site of an old mining community.
Do you mean Newcastle as in the community next to Bellevue?

NWNative
06-06-2006, 07:41 AM
Newcastle is now an incorporated town. The hillside is covered with houses and McMansions. The park is still a park of course. Some club has added signs and historical info about the area within the park. The huge old mine shaft is covered with a grate and I believe a cement barrier (can't remember). The cemetery is fenced and locked. If you are interested in going to the cemetery you need to call the caretaker and make an appointment.
If you havn't been there in a while - it's changed!!
There is one original house left. Heard tell that the gentleman living there has a barn/garage of historical artifacts from the area. Also that he has some pretty good stories. I'd love to meet that guy and take a ramble through his stuff!
I've got an interesting book put out by the Seattle Times about the history of the Eastside, called A Hidden Past.
Talks about Black Diamond, Bellevue, Woodinville, Etc. You could probably request a copy from the Seattle Times.

Ghostdancer
06-06-2006, 01:22 PM
Newcastle is now an incorporated town. The hillside is covered with houses and McMansions. The park is still a park of course. Some club has added signs and historical info about the area within the park. The huge old mine shaft is covered with a grate and I believe a cement barrier (can't remember). The cemetery is fenced and locked. If you are interested in going to the cemetery you need to call the caretaker and make an appointment.
If you havn't been there in a while - it's changed!!
There is one original house left. Heard tell that the gentleman living there has a barn/garage of historical artifacts from the area. Also that he has some pretty good stories. I'd love to meet that guy and take a ramble through his stuff!
I've got an interesting book put out by the Seattle Times about the history of the Eastside, called A Hidden Past.
Talks about Black Diamond, Bellevue, Woodinville, Etc. You could probably request a copy from the Seattle Times.

When you drive out from the area where my cousin lives and turn right you go just a short distance and you're in Newcastle. It's right where that Safeway and Blockbuster Video are located. I didn't know anything about a mineshaft being there.


Tom

NWNative
06-06-2006, 02:49 PM
It was in Cougar Mtn Park. There are quite a few historical sites left in the park. Also, do you know about the old Nike bases up the way from there?

There were quite a few towns on cougar mtn - Rainbow town, Red Town, etc. Most of the sites have been destroyed by building.
The area is littered with Mine shafts. A few years ago the state/city started capping them off because people were going into them. A lot of the old coal mines were shafts straight down. Plus they often emit deadly gases. I;m not sure if people actually died but there were rumors when I was grosing up in the area. Matter of fact the property I grew up on had three open shafts when we moved in. The folks buried two of them. I found remains of sunken tunnels in the woods. Once I was even dumb enough to go into a nice round depression, then the earth started to move, slipping slowly down the slope. I was up the side so fast! I have no doubt that I had found the mysterious third shaft!!

Fairlane500
06-06-2006, 03:51 PM
Yeah, up at the trailhead in the park, you've got the remains of the old hotel, of which a corner of the boiler room still stands, the foundations of the old Bagley steam donkey engine, the old site of a mill pond, the Ford Slope mine entrance and the old dam. If you hike down Coal Creek, you follow an old rail grade that leads eventually to the remains of an old turntable. Along the main road near the trail head is an open field where the old Newcastle School was once located.

Farther west you have the Baima House, which is the only remaining company house, near an old ore elevator, and a few other buildings from old Newcastle.

Also, a recently open trail follows the grade of a mining railroad that headed for Lake Washington, following it, you eventually reach the site of an old railroad tressel, of which the footing pits are still visible.

Ghostdancer
06-06-2006, 08:06 PM
It was in Cougar Mtn Park. There are quite a few historical sites left in the park. Also, do you know about the old Nike bases up the way from there?

There were quite a few towns on cougar mtn - Rainbow town, Red Town, etc. Most of the sites have been destroyed by building.
The area is littered with Mine shafts. A few years ago the state/city started capping them off because people were going into them. A lot of the old coal mines were shafts straight down. Plus they often emit deadly gases. I;m not sure if people actually died but there were rumors when I was grosing up in the area. Matter of fact the property I grew up on had three open shafts when we moved in. The folks buried two of them. I found remains of sunken tunnels in the woods. Once I was even dumb enough to go into a nice round depression, then the earth started to move, slipping slowly down the slope. I was up the side so fast! I have no doubt that I had found the mysterious third shaft!!

Just so I'm not confusing locations; we are talking about Newcastle just due south of Bellevue? Where is the park located?


Tom

NWNative
06-06-2006, 08:36 PM
Yep, that Newcastle. Cougar Mtn Park is just a little off and east of Coal Creek Parkway.

Ghostdancer
06-07-2006, 05:56 AM
Yep, that Newcastle. Cougar Mtn Park is just a little off and east of Coal Creek Parkway.
I'll have to ask my cousin if she's familar with this place. I plan to visit again next year. I'm guessing that this park is south of the shopping plaza where the Safeway and Blockbuster Video are located. She and her husband live right off the Coal Creek Parkway.


Tom

Fairlane500
06-07-2006, 06:04 AM
Actually, to get to the park, you head east from the stoplight downtown (eg McDonalds, Arco), to the first stop sign, then turn left (Newcastle-Golf Club Road), then continue down that road a couple of miles to a pretty much hairpin turn where there will be a sign for Cougar Mtn. Park and a parking lot for the trailhead.

Ghostdancer
06-07-2006, 06:22 AM
Actually, to get to the park, you head east from the stoplight downtown (eg McDonalds, Arco), to the first stop sign, then turn left (Newcastle-Golf Club Road), then continue down that road a couple of miles to a pretty much hairpin turn where there will be a sign for Cougar Mtn. Park and a parking lot for the trailhead.

By any chance is this trail the Coal Creek trail? I've hiked on part of it from where it goes in from the Coal Creek Parkway. Ok, I'm familiar with the McDonalds and Arco. I've eaten at that McDonalds and bought gas from the Arco.


Tom

NWNative
06-07-2006, 07:42 AM
I'm not sure if it's the Coal Creek Trail but that is the park I was talking about. There is a local hiking group that does histoy walks in the summer over there.

Ghostdancer - drop me a note when you are headed over. If you're interested I could lend you some of the local books I have. Not much, but interstiing reading and maybe a new hunt for you.

Fairlane500
06-07-2006, 08:20 AM
The technical name for the trailhead is the Red Town Trailhead, however it does connect to the Coal Creek Trail, which also has a trailhead along Coal Creek parkway about halfway between Newcastle and Factoria.

You should be able to pick up a map of Cougar Mountain, which shows all the points of interest in the park, at the red town Trailhead.

Ghostdancer
06-07-2006, 01:52 PM
I'm not sure if it's the Coal Creek Trail but that is the park I was talking about. There is a local hiking group that does histoy walks in the summer over there.

Ghostdancer - drop me a note when you are headed over. If you're interested I could lend you some of the local books I have. Not much, but interstiing reading and maybe a new hunt for you.
I'll keep that in mind NWN. What books are these? I can probably order them. I'd also like to get the USGS topo for Lester as I want to see the site on my next visit.

Fairlane, NWN, do you both live in or near the Seattle area? I think it's become one of my favorite travel spots.


Tom

Ghostdancer
06-07-2006, 02:21 PM
The technical name for the trailhead is the Red Town Trailhead, however it does connect to the Coal Creek Trail, which also has a trailhead along Coal Creek parkway about halfway between Newcastle and Factoria.

You should be able to pick up a map of Cougar Mountain, which shows all the points of interest in the park, at the red town Trailhead.

I believe this is the one I hiked part way during a visit in August 2003. I went about a mile.

Ghostdancer
06-07-2006, 02:25 PM
however it does connect to the Coal Creek Trail, which also has a trailhead along Coal Creek parkway about halfway between Newcastle and Factoria.

This is the one I hiked part way during a visit in August 2003. I went about a mile. It sure had a way of making it hard to believe you're in a large major urban area.

I think my cousin and hubby mentioned that there have been bear sitings in this area.

Fairlane500
06-07-2006, 04:51 PM
This is the one I hiked part way during a visit in August 2003. I went about a mile. It sure had a way of making it hard to believe you're in a large major urban area.

I think my cousin and hubby mentioned that there have been bear sitings in this area.

Yeah, I actually currently reside in the Newcastle area, so I pretty much know the area by heart.

We've seen bear in our yard on a couple of occasions, but they are mostly more afraid of you than you are of them. Mostly the large animals we see are deer, racoons, coyotes, and the occasional bobcat.

calypso_thyme
06-12-2006, 11:45 AM
The area along Blewett pass has begun to be mined again. With the price of gold up, it's worth it to mine. Driving along the highway you can see mines in everyone's backyards...and if you look carefully along the way, you can still catch a glimpse of the old stamp mill up on the hill.

Rumor has it there are plenty of mines still available up in the area...and there are 3 local ghost/semi-ghost towns: Liberty, Blewett, and Roslyn (where Northern Exposure was filmed.) It's a pretty drive and worth seeing...and not too far from Seattle/Tacoma area.

calypso_thyme
06-12-2006, 11:48 AM
Another place to go in Washington is San Juan Island. There's the old town of Roche Harbor which was converted into a resort area, with a beautiful family crypt shaped like a table with chairs...and each family member's ashes are interred in their chair. Further along the coast are the old lime kilns from the mining days...

There are also 2 fort sites on the island...the British fort and the American fort from the time of the Pig War. One of the forts has been restored...beautiful gardens and views...and a cute cemetary up the hill. I consider the island well worth the cost of the ferry to get there.

calypso_thyme
06-12-2006, 11:52 AM
From the book, Ghost Towns and Boom Camps, by JoAnn Roe, the following ghost towns were listed by county:

Clallam Co: Carlsborg, Diamond Point, Dungeness, Gettysburg, Port Cresent, Pysht and Twin

Jefferson Co: Irondale, Port Discovery, Port Hadlock, Port Ludlow, Tubal Cain Mine

San Juan Co: Roche Harbor

Skagit Co: Avon, Blanchard, Clear Lake, Cokedale, Hamilton, Skagit City, Skagit Queen Mine, Valumines

Whatcom Co: Azurite Mine, Barron (Eureka Mine, Mammoth Mine), Blue Canyon, Glacier, Maple Falls, Semiahmoo, Shuksan (Lone Jack Mine, Red Mt. Mine)

That all from this book...I'm sure I have others around that will list other counties.

Ghostdancer
06-13-2006, 05:52 AM
I spoke with my cousin last night and asked if she was familiar with these mines.
She tells me that there's an issue with toxic gas and some are closed off.


Tom

Ghostdancer
06-13-2006, 05:57 AM
The area along Blewett pass has begun to be mined again. With the price of gold up, it's worth it to mine. Driving along the highway you can see mines in everyone's backyards...and if you look carefully along the way, you can still catch a glimpse of the old stamp mill up on the hill.

Rumor has it there are plenty of mines still available up in the area...and there are 3 local ghost/semi-ghost towns: Liberty, Blewett, and Roslyn (where Northern Exposure was filmed.) It's a pretty drive and worth seeing...and not too far from Seattle/Tacoma area.

You mentioned Blewett. On my first visit we went to Liberty and Roslyn, but didn't see Blewett. Where exactly is it? I had thought it's on the highway to Leavenworth from the map on the website. :confused:


Tom

Fairlane500
06-13-2006, 06:22 AM
You mentioned Blewett. On my first visit we went to Liberty and Roslyn, but didn't see Blewett. Where exactly is it? I had thought it's on the highway to Leavenworth from the map on the website. :confused:


Tom

Blewett is located on blewett Pass about halfway between the turnoff to Liberty on Highway 97, and where Highway 97 meets Highway 2 at Peshastin. In all reality, there is little along the highway to signify that you are passing the site of the town.

Fairlane500
06-18-2006, 08:51 AM
Yesterday I took a trip out and hiked to the site of Franklin, which I thought was quite interesting.

I might go ahead and put up some of the pictures I took at a later point.

Davidw
02-05-2009, 01:29 PM
The technical name for the trailhead is the Red Town Trailhead, however it does connect to the Coal Creek Trail, which also has a trailhead along Coal Creek parkway about halfway between Newcastle and Factoria.

You should be able to pick up a map of Cougar Mountain, which shows all the points of interest in the park, at the red town Trailhead.

You can download maps for the park here (http://www.metrokc.gov/gis/vmc/Recreation.htm#CM) from the King County website. Coal Creek Park is actually a seperate park, no longer maintained by King County Parks, but by the city of Bellevue. It was sold to Bellevue when King County Parks was having budget problems several years ago. There are lots of reminants in and around Coal Creek. Cougar Mountain has the concreted in portal of the Ford Slope Mine near the Red Town Trailhead, and an air shaft that is covered with a grate made of rebar near the Clay Pit. There is the entrance to a mine near the Newcastle Nursery, also grated. The first mine at Newcastle was located nearby, but its now covered with dirt.

Red Town, Rainbow Town, and Finn Town actually refer to the neighborhoods that made up what was originally referred to as Coal Creek, but became Newcastle when they moved the post office from "old" Newcastle (where present day Newcastle is now) to Coal Creek, around the time that most of the mining shifted to the Ford Slope Mine.

danny_stoddard
02-05-2009, 05:39 PM
Monte Cristo is my favorite. if you have time, hike into Stehekin.

Darin
02-05-2009, 06:52 PM
Monte Cristo is my favorite. if you have time, hike into Stehekin.
I was just there in Monte Cristo this past August. Alot has changed there but it's still a good hike in (if you don't mind getting wet while crossing the river LOL) and seeing the old railroad tracks thanks to the river washing away part of the hiking trail. (NOTE: the hiking trail beyond the river is the actual route of the railroad up to Monte Cristo...something I just learned this past trip.)

danny_stoddard
02-08-2009, 06:55 AM
I was just there in Monte Cristo this past August. Alot has changed there but it's still a good hike in (if you don't mind getting wet while crossing the river LOL) and seeing the old railroad tracks thanks to the river washing away part of the hiking trail. (NOTE: the hiking trail beyond the river is the actual route of the railroad up to Monte Cristo...something I just learned this past trip.)

that is interesting - I haven't been since probably 2002.... very interesting about more of the road/trail washing out - that's what finally killed the town off in the 80's. great place to visit nonetheless and this obstacle won't stop me from going back! :D

has anyone done the 30 mile hike into Stehekin?