Hike of the Month: Crowell Ridge (Salmo Priest Wilderness )

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act with a visit to the Salmo Priest Wilderness in the Colville National Forest. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended to access this hike, where the bumpy Forest Service road takes care of most of the climbing. From the trailhead (at 6,220 feet) set off across the open ridge that provides unparalleled views of the surrounding area. Crowell Ridge itself is a fantastic day-hike suitable for everyone, with enough scenery to satisfy those who wish to turn around early, and an 8 or more mile round-trip hike for those who want more ridge running. The adventurous should come prepared with map and compass to tackle the off-trail ridge-walk to Gypsy Peak, the tallest mountain in Eastern Washington at 7,309 feet. Practice Leave No Trace ethics and try this as a backpack trip for some of the best stargazing in the state.

Getting There: North of Spokane and Newport and just past Tiger and before Ione on Highway 31, turn east on Sullivan Lake Road. Continue past the lake and the ranger station office, and turn east on Highline Road (FS 2212). Drive about 3 miles, then turn left on FS 245 to Sullivan Mountain Lookout.

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