Monte Cristo Mining Area

Golden Cord and Comet tram terminals 1890s
Please click on the photo for a larger view


The Monte Cristo Mining Area site is in the Cascade Mountains.  It is part of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Snohomish County, Washington, near the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness Area.  The Monte Cristo Mining District and the surrounding area have a rich mining history.  Monte Cristo Mine peak production was in 1897.
Most ore production came from eight mines: Mystery, New Discovery, Pride of the Mountains, Pride of the Woods, Golden Cord, Comet, Justice, and Rainy Mines.  The District processed mined ore for delivery to the Everett Smelter.  By 1894, it could process up to 300 tons of ore per day.  The Monte Cristo Mining District produced mainly gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc.

The American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) bought the mining operations in 1903.  In 2009, Ecology and the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS) received ASARCO bankruptcy settlement funds to clean-up hazardous materials and contamination from historic mining activities.  Property ownership in the area is complex.  As a result, the United States and State of Washington divided the settlement funds equally to pay for cleanup.


Ecology is conducting a remedial investigation (RI) and feasibility study (FS).  The RI collects environmental samples for analysis to determine the extent of contamination and measure stream flow and quality.  The FS evaluates options to clean-up contaminated soil, sediment, and water.  Ecology plans to complete the RI/FS in 2017.  Summary reports are available on this website using the "View Electronic Documents" link.

In 2011, Ecology evaluated existing data and investigated upland area conditions (soils and previously unidentified mining operations).  Ecology investigated the metals uptake of by plants and insects, and started evaluating the aquatic environment (Glacier Creek, Seventysix Gulch, South Fork Sauk River, and Monte Cristo Lake) in 2013.  This investigation is ongoing.  Ecology is determining if the metals are impacting organisms on  land and in the streams.

Ecology is also assisting the USFS with cleanup.  Ecology is working with private landowners to implement the USFS plan to cleanup contamination across public and private land.  For information about the USFS’s cleanup plan see their website:


Ecology wants to keep you involved!  You will have the chance to review and comment on key documents during the cleanup process.  Documents will be at this website and at the repository locations listed to the right as they become available.


Map showing site location as Snohomish County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 2251399

Cleanup Site ID: 4550

Silverton, Snohomish County

Status: Cleanup Started   Get definitions of Status terminology

Mary Monahan
Site Manager
(509) 454-7840

Document Repositories:

Central Regional Office
1250 W Alder St
Union Gap, 98903-0009

Darrington Public Library
1005 Cascade St
Darrington, 98241