Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Barlow Point

Barlow Point

North Cascades


North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
View map below


2.4 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 800 ft.
Highest Point: 3200 ft.


3.54 out of 5

(13 votes) Log in to rate
WTA worked here: 2021

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

This seldom-used trail on the Mountain Loop Highway presents hikers with the opportunity to explore and learn about the area’s history from the moment the car doors open at the trailhead. An information board details some key historic facts and provides photos from yesteryear to help visitors appreciate the history of this special place.

Starting from the site of a former Forest Service Guard Station, the trail takes off through the forest, quickly reaching a signed junction. The trail right continues to Barlow Point, while the trail left follows a portion of the Everett-Monte Cristo railroad grade and has an interpretive sign to provide further information about the rail history of the surrounding area. In a short distance, this spur trail rejoins the Barlow Point Trail and makes a nice detour either on the way up or the way down.

Continuing on the Barlow Point Trail, pass two more signed junctions; the first being where the railroad grade rejoins the main trail and the second being the start of the Old Government Trail. Immediately after this junction, a steady series of switchbacks propels hikers up through forest scarred by the Buck Creek Fire in 1905.

The rocky summit of Barlow Point is soon reached. This point housed a lookout tower from 1935 until 1964 when, ironically, it burned down. Because the surrounding forest had burned in the 1905 fire, the Barlow Point fire lookout had unobstructed views in all directions. The forest has since regrown and some of the views are now blocked by evergreens, but visitors can still enjoy the scenery of both the Stillaguamish and Sauk River valleys along with a number of rocky peaks lining the horizon.


Barlow Point

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.0305, -121.4429 Open map in new window


North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

Barlow Point (#709)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Darrington Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: North Cascades (Romano -- Mountaineers Books)

Green Trail No. 111 Sloan Peak

Getting There

From Darrington or Granite Falls, drive the Mountain Loop Highway to Barlow Pass. The parking area is on the north side of the highway.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Barlow Point

113 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
Trip Reports