Kettle Crest National Scenic Trail - Sherman Pass, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 48° 36.485 W 118° 28.643
11U E 391097 N 5384943
Quick Description: Known as "the granddaddy of long-distance, high-country routes in Eastern Washington", Kettle Crest Trail stretches for 22 miles through high mountain country with 8,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 7/1/2016 9:14:46 PM
Waymark Code: WMRK1T
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 1

Long Description:
This trailhead/access point is immediately north of Highway 20, aka Sherman Pass Scenic Byway at the Sherman Pass Summit. The trail runs generally north and south from this point, the south section crossing Highway 20 almost immediately.

A total of 44.0 miles, roundtrip, the high point on the trail, at Copper Butte, is 7,140 feet in elevation. Given that this is a high mountain trail, it would take a very determined hiker to finish it in a single day, though the bikers should be able to manage it.

The trail is open to hikers, bikers, horses and dogs, on leash. No motorized vehicles of any type are allowed.

At this access point there is signage on the highway and a road leading into a parking and camping area. There is parking for RVs and trailers, though not a huge amount. The road crosses the trail itself about 200 feet south of the parking area.

WTA Pro Tip: Tapped springs, never more than a half-dozen miles apart, can hydrate hikers who plan refills carefully. Keep in mind this is open rangeland, and cattle congregate around the springs, some of which have been maintained in less-than stellar fashion by grazing leaseholders. Filter all your water


The Kettle Crest National Scenic Trail is the granddaddy of long-distance, high-country routes in Eastern Washington. Over the course of its 44 miles, it presents a virtual highlight reel of dry-side beauty, from sage-scented meadows to subalpine parkland.

Located in the far northeast corner of the state, the Kettle Crest features a half-dozen of Eastern Washington’s highest peaks, some topping out at more than 7,000 feet. Nominally a ridge-running route, the Kettle Crest tallies up nearly 8,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain over its length. Yet there are no cloud-piercing spires here, just a mosaic of old-growth forests and open sagebrush meadows, from which shimmer distant vistas of the Cascade and Rocky Mountains.

Owing to its diversity of habitats and lack of human development, the Kettle Range boasts some of the best remaining wildlife habitat in Eastern Washington. Hikers should keep their eyes peeled for cougar, moose, mule deer and black bear, all cruising the high country. But in summer, the dazzling array of wildflowers—buckwheat, lupine, aster, yarrow, paintbrush, hawkweed and others—will likely keep your attention focused on the foreground.

From the southern trailhead, ascend through profuse wildflowers on White Mountain before beginning a view-packed stretch past Barnaby Buttes and Bald Mountain. The southwest slope of Snow Peak holds great camp spots near the shelter. Skirt Sherman Peak and Columbia Mountain, then traipse along a sagebrush lined ridge; campsites are scattered along the way. The high point is 7,140-foot Copper Butte, where fragments of an old lookout remain.
Read on at Washington Trails

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Trail Name: Kettle Crest National Scenic Trail

Short description of trail:
See above

Trail Average Difficulty:

Web Link to trail map (if available): [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
One log per waymark per person per physical visit to the trailhead. You are welcome to log your own waymark locations.
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