Hike Of the Month

Sherman Peak (Kettle River Range, Northeast WA)

Tackle this rigorous route for incredible views from the summit of 7,011 foot Sherman Peak.  From the parking lot, look both ways before crossing Highway 20, then begin your climb through the lodgepole pine forest on Sherman’s flank.  At the junction with the Sherman Loop Trail, it’s recommended that hikers turn right (west).  Continue around the mountain, crossing into the area burned in the 1988 White Mountain fire.  When the loop trail meets the Kettle Crest Trail (leading to the Snow Peak cabin and beyond), leave the trail by turning north towards the peak to hike to the top (there are several steep slopes that could pose avalanche risk, especially on the north side, so educate yourself about the conditions and choose a safe route).

From the summit, views of nearby prominent peaks include Snow Peak, Bald Mountain, Edds Mountain, and Barnaby Buttes to the south, and Columbia Mountain and Jungle Hill to the north.  On a clear day, the eastern portion of the Cascades are just visible on the horizon.  Retrace your steps for an approximately 6 mile hike with over 1,400 feet of elevation gain.

Best for: Check weather and avalanche condition reports before you go (www.idahopanhandleavalanche.org). Open to snowshoers and backcountry skiers.  Dog friendly with leash recommended.

Getting there: From Spokane take Highway 395 north through Colville and Kettle Falls.  Cross the bridge over the Columbia and turn left on Highway 20 towards Republic.  The SnoPark lot is on the north side of Highway 20 at Sherman Pass; the trailhead is on the south side of the highway.  SnoPark permit required.