There’s a little gravel pull-off along the side of Highway 530 between Arlington and Darrington, Wa. You wouldn’t think from just driving by that there is plenty to explore here as well as richness in history of a town long forgotten.
From the parking area you have the choice to let your eyes feast upriver toward the very distinctive Mount Higgins. It’s deep and vertical lacerations give this mountain plenty of character and charm. Or find a path down to the river bar on the North Fork Stillaguamish River where the fishing is great and campfires are toasty.
If you are in for more, then no worries, the Whitehorse Trail passes right through! There is over 10 miles of scenic trail to follow if you head East Toward Darrington or follow the river down to Arlington for 17 plus miles. East will take you through Hazel, where there once was a town.
In 1901 the Whitehorse Trail was a railroad that brought logging settlements throughout its stretch from Arlington to Darrington. Hazel’s first settler, however, came in 1887 and named it after his young daughter. It wasn’t until 1903 that the post office was established and Hazel was official.
There’s a couple of mill ponds in the area that mark the site of the Hazel Lumber Company. You can see them from the highway as well. By the late 1920s and early 30s the majority of the town had been ravaged by floods and the buildings never rebuilt. Some places are just too wild for civilization, but it is the wildness that draws us in. I would have settled here too.
For more in depth history visit Discover Darrington -Hazel
From Highway 9 in Arlington, Wa head East 17.6 miles and the gravel lot is on your left.