(I now call this the ‘Incline Trail.2/2/17) This is a short blog post about an amazing short trail. The town of Diablo is a Seattle City Light company town near the base of Diablo Dam. The ‘actual’ Diablo Lake Trail starts up above the dam on Diablo Lake.
If you click on the map to the left, you will see a faint line running up the hill below the railroad lift that rises above the town of Diablo. The actual trail has a few more switchbacks than this map shows. You park near the river, at the end of the road you came in on. You will see the sign pointing to the trail.
You will be hiking a pretty steep trail that takes you to the top of the incline lift that was used to haul the materials to build both Diablo Dam and Ross Dam. One rail car at a time was lifted up this steep hill. To the left is a photo of what it looked like in operation. The trail would be to the right of the three sets of rails. This shows a bare hillside, but now it is all covered up with trees and brush.
After the rail car made it to the top, it was hauled with another engine to the dam site, all on rail, of course. At the top of the trail you see where the rock cuts were made to make all this happen. The trail ends at the old railroad bed and you can stroll to the left, though the cut, and view the incline from the top. If you turn right you go about .25 mile to Diablo Dam. From the trail it looks like the photo at the left
To the left is a sample of what this trail looks like. We used trekking poles, it seemed pretty safe for us. Below is a photo that was taken looking down the incline lift from the top. In the days where Seattle City Light was giving tours of the facility, this lift was used to move the guests from the bottom to the top, where the dam was located.
This is a great short hike that feels like you are really in the alpine North Cascades, but is very easy to get to, hike and enjoy! (PS: We went on a sunny June Sunday and did not see another person on this trail, or along the old railroad bed.)
I am also going to embed a few other photos of this trail and Kate, who was with me that day.
’til next time,
Highland Garden House B & B
501 E. Highland Ave.
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
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