Old Sauk River Trail
The Old Sauk River Trail is located near Darrington Wa. It is a forested trail that meanders along the Sauk River. It reminded me of a rain forest hike since there is so much hanging moss and the tree coverage is dense. The trail is well managed and offers a wonderful view of the river.
You have to drive to Darrington on Hwy 530 to hike this trail. You can take I-5 or hwy 9 through Arlington to get to 530. At first glance I assumed we could get to it on the Mountain Loop Hwy through Granite Falls and Verlot. **There are two sections of the Mountain Loop Hwy. One is Verlot and the other is on the Darrington side. They meet in the middle but the road that connects them is a one lane gravel road for about 14 miles. Granite Falls is closer to my home but I knew we’d enjoy the scenic drive to Darrington. When you arrive in Darrington, which by the way is the cutest town with the most amazing snow covered mountains looming above, the trail head is only a few miles away on the Mountain Loop Hwy.
We started our hike later than usual so we decided to eat lunch in the parking area. The parking is decent and there wasn’t many other cars, most likely because we went on a Wednesday. I am sure on the weekends this trail is busy with families. Even senior citizens could enjoy this hike.
Along the way we noticed many interesting flowers and vegetation. The moss hung from the trees, foxgloves were scattered all along the side of the trail the entire way, and what looked like bamboo was poking out here and there. This of course made everyone stop as it was so different looking and felt very light, almost like paper. One by one the kids had to feel it for themselves.
We found a spot to climb down to the river. It wasn’t too steep of a climb and there was a nice clearing of sand, boulders and fallen logs to play on. We stayed there for quite a while. It looked to me like a log jam maybe from the previous years of flooding. The kids really enjoyed playing on the logs and being able to cross the river to the other side. The river turns into a small creek here from all the debris and is easily crossable. The river does become more turbulent the father you go down the trail.
The Sauk River water is bluish green and is quite cold. There are little pools of shallow water here as well and we were treated to a very large frog hanging out in one of the little pools. All of the kids shed their shoes to brave the cold water and one of my daughters stood in the wet sand and found herself sinking in the silt.
The kids all sat on a log and dangled their feet in the water. If we would have let them the kids would have stayed here all day. This was a perfect spot to allow the kids to explore and enjoy the Sauk River.
So if you are looking for a nice wooded trail, no elevation gain, but long enough to make a day of it, the Sauk River Trail is definitely a great choice. Little children and senior citizens can enjoy this leisurely hike and with a little effort you can manage to get down to the river and have lunch while the kids run and explore. What more can you ask for? 🙂