Neiderprum Trail #653

Starting up from the trail taking the old road, photo by Nels Rasmussen, DC

The Neiderprum Trail #653 is only 1.4 miles however due to road damage at the bridge before the trailhead, the road is barricaded adding 1.25 miles to the hike. The first portion of the hike following the old road is also the beginning of the route to Snow Gulch. The road gradually ascends to the the trailhead and once beginning on the trail the climb becomes steeper as you go upward. This trail will certainly give the cardiovascular system a real work out, but the views make it worth it.

Starting up from the trailhead, photo by Nels Rasmussen, D.C.

The original trail was built by Chas Neiderprum, once a prospector of the Darrington area. He built this trail to his limestone mining claim so his pack horses could bring up provisions to his cabin and bring down the ore from his claim.

Looking toward Sauk Prairie & Town from the trail, photo by Nels Rasmussen, DC

As you hike up the switchbacks you will see a sign to the left posted on a tree marking where you are now entering the Boulder River Wilderness. At about 2/3 of the hike you will come to a slide area that opens to some great views to the north of the town of Darrington, Sauk River Valley and the mountains beyond.

Getting a peek at Whitehorse Mountain, photo by Nels Rasmussen, D.C.

Beyond the slide the trail becomes a bit more steep and brushy with the occasional fallen tree to navigate over or around. Occasionally there will be an opening through the trees to get a peak at the surrounding mountains to the northeast.

Looking at the waterfall above Snow Gulch, photo by Nels Rasmussen

Towards the end of the hike at 1.4 miles the trail branches in a couple of directions however seemingly meeting back with each other. As you hike upward breathtaking views of Sill Basin begin to open up. The trail to the left (east) drops down to what is sometimes referred to as the “flat" which has some amazing views.

Looking east at the peaks of Whitehorse Mountain, photo by Nels Rasmussen, D.C.

Where you stand on this small level clearing was once the mining cabin of Chas Neiderprum. Beyond this point the trail is marked very little and disappears in the brush. Continuing on is a climbers route to the peaks of Whitehorse Mountain requiring climbing skills and climbing equipment. As you make your way back down the trail imagine once a man leading pack horses laden with heavy ore making this same trip, also keep in mind that the Forest Service has added improvements to some of these switchbacks to make the descent more gradual.

History of Chas Neiderprum was gathered from the descendants of Chas Neiderprum.

Type of Trail: USFS
Length:  2.65 miles one way
Elevation:  800 - 2,300
Level of Difficulty: Difficult

Best Seasons:  Summer & Fall

Seasonal Interest:
  • Summer - best time for waterfalls
  • Fall - fall colors
General Information:
History:  Roughly following the route to the Chas Neiderprum Limes Mines

Wilderness restrictions: Yes, Boulder River Wilderness

Restroom: None

Bring drinking water

Getting There:  To get to the Neiderprum Trail #653 go west from Darrington on SR 530 to Whitehorse about 5 miles, (look for the Whitehorse Shell Station), turn left, (south) on Old Mine Road and drive .6 miles then you will come to a concrete barricade on the left.   You will pass the barricade and cross over the bridge toward the trailhead.