Travertine is a light colored (darkens to gray when exposed to sun and air) concretionary limestone deposited around limy springs or streams. It is characterized by imbedded (fossilized) leaves, twigs, small plants, and air pockets.
Directions to travertine deposit near Darrington
I-5 North to Route 530 (Arlington – Darrington) [Note: the exit on I-5 for Route 530 is farther north than the exit for Route 531.]
Go to Darrington.
In downtown Darrington, at the 4-way stop sign intersection, turn right on the Mountain Loop Highway (Forest Road 20). There is a Shell gas station on the NE corner. The Mountain Loop Highway sign is across the street on the SE corner.
Go 8.7 miles south. Within 0.2 mile of crossing a bridge over the Sauk River, there is a road to the left. (If you get to the end of the pavement on the Mountain Loop Highway, you have gone too far.)
Turn left (east) and cross the new one-lane bridge over the White Chuck river onto Forest Road 22.
In about 0.1 miles, there is a paved parking lot for White Chuck River Access (as labeled on the Green Trails map). This is a good place to meet and gather before continuing on the forest road.
Go 3.1 miles to Forest Road 24. This is a large triangular intersection which as of July, 2010 has a large forest service road sign for FR 24 and FR 22.
Turn right (up the hill) on FR 24 and go 1.8 miles. If you come to another Forest Road “Y” intersection, you've gone too far.
The travertine deposit is on the right.
It is not obviously a travertine deposit. It looks like a lot of moss covered rocks. However, the moss is hiding the travertine. About 25 feet up the hill is an exposure where some rock hounds have been digging. (There is a claim on this land, however the sign states that non-commercial rock hounds are welcome.) There is a (cold) stream running through part of the deposit. There is another stream on the side of the deposit.
Please note that this is a very wet, muddy, slippery place. Be prepared to get wet and muddy. Bring bug repellent. From experience: a sledge hammer doesn’t work well on this rock. It just absorbs the impact. A pry bar or digging bar works well. A pointed pick might also work well. Rubber boots are recommended.
These directions supplied by Ilse Burch