Kettle Crest Trail In Washington

Here is everything you need to know about the Kettle Crest Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Washington
  • Length: 31 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Colville National Forest
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: Info not available.

The Kettle Crest Trail, located in northeastern Washington State, holds a rich historical significance that dates back centuries. The trail traverses the Kettle River Range, a mountain range known for its rugged beauty and diverse ecosystems. Historically, this area was inhabited by indigenous tribes, including the Colville, Spokane, and Kalispel tribes, who relied on the land’s resources for sustenance and cultural practices.

During the late 19th century, European settlers began to explore and settle in the region. The Kettle Crest Trail, originally used by Native Americans as a trade route, became an important transportation corridor for early pioneers. These settlers utilized the trail to access mining areas, establish homesteads, and trade goods with neighboring communities. The trail played a crucial role in connecting remote settlements and facilitating economic growth in the region.

In the early 20th century, the U.S. Forest Service recognized the recreational potential of the Kettle Crest Trail and began developing it as a hiking route. The trail’s construction involved the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program that provided employment during the Great Depression. The CCC built bridges, cleared paths, and constructed campsites along the trail, making it more accessible to outdoor enthusiasts.

Today, the Kettle Crest Trail stands as a testament to the historical significance of the region. Hikers can experience the same landscapes that Native Americans and early settlers traversed, gaining a deeper appreciation for the area’s cultural and natural heritage. The trail’s historical legacy, combined with its stunning vistas and diverse wildlife, continues to attract adventurers seeking a connection to the past and a memorable outdoor experience.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Sherman Pass Trailhead: Located at the highest point on State Route 20, this trailhead provides access to the northern end of the Kettle Crest Trail.

2. Copper Butte Trailhead: Situated near the town of Republic, this trailhead offers access to the southern end of the Kettle Crest Trail.

3. Snow Peak Cabin Trailhead: Located near the Snow Peak Cabin, this trailhead provides access to the Kettle Crest Trail.

4. Columbia Mountain Trailhead: Situated near the Columbia Mountain Lookout, this trailhead offers access to the Kettle Crest Trail.

5. Deer Creek Trailhead: Located near Deer Creek, this trailhead provides access to the Kettle Crest Trail.

6. Sherman Pass North Trailhead: Situated north of Sherman Pass, this trailhead offers access to the Kettle Crest Trail.

7. Sherman Pass South Trailhead: Located south of Sherman Pass, this trailhead provides access to the Kettle Crest Trail.

8. Thirteenmile Trailhead: Situated near Thirteenmile Mountain, this trailhead offers access to the Kettle Crest Trail.

9. Jungle Hill Trailhead: Located near Jungle Hill, this trailhead provides access to the Kettle Crest Trail.

10. Swan Lake Trailhead: Situated near Swan Lake, this trailhead offers access to the Kettle Crest Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Kettle Crest Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to and from the Kettle Crest Trail.
2. Trailhead Taxi – Taxi service offering rides to various trailheads near the Kettle Crest Trail.
3. Mountain Bike Rentals – Bike rental service for exploring the Kettle Crest Trail and surrounding areas.
4. Hiker’s Haul – Transportation service specializing in transporting hikers to and from the Kettle Crest Trail.
5. Adventure Bus – Bus service offering transportation to popular trailheads near the Kettle Crest Trail.


The Kettle Crest Trail offers several amenities for visitors. Here is a list of amenities available at the trail:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at designated areas along the trail. These restrooms may be in the form of pit toilets or vault toilets.

2. Parking: There are parking areas provided at various trailheads along the Kettle Crest Trail. These parking lots allow visitors to safely park their vehicles while they explore the trail.

3. Camping Sites: The trail offers designated camping sites for overnight stays. These sites may have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and tent pads. It is advisable to check with the local authorities or park management for any permits or reservations required for camping.

4. Picnic Areas: There are picnic areas available along the trail where visitors can take a break, enjoy a meal, or have a picnic. These areas may have picnic tables, benches, and trash bins for convenience.

5. Water Sources: The trail may have natural water sources such as streams or lakes where visitors can access water for drinking or other purposes. It is recommended to carry a water filter or purification system to ensure the water is safe for consumption.

6. Trail Markers and Signage: The Kettle Crest Trail is well-marked with trail markers and signage to guide hikers and ensure they stay on the right path. These markers help visitors navigate the trail and provide information about distances, junctions, and points of interest.

7. Information Boards: There may be information boards or kiosks at trailheads or other strategic points along the trail. These boards provide maps, trail information, safety guidelines, and other useful information for visitors.

8. Wildlife Viewing Areas: The Kettle Crest Trail is known for its diverse wildlife. There may be designated areas along the trail where visitors can observe and appreciate the local flora and fauna. These areas may have viewing platforms or overlooks for a better vantage point.

It is important to note that amenities may vary depending on the specific section or trailhead of the Kettle Crest Trail. It is recommended to check with local authorities, park management, or trail guides for the most up-to-date information on amenities and facilities available.

Nearby Services

1. Kettle Falls Campground – A nearby campground offering tent and RV sites with basic amenities.
2. Republic Motel – A budget-friendly motel in Republic, providing comfortable rooms for overnight stays.
3. Curlew Lake State Park – A scenic state park with camping facilities and lake access for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Midway Motel – A cozy motel located in Colville, offering clean rooms and friendly service.
5. Kettle Falls Marina – A marina on Lake Roosevelt providing boat rentals, fuel, and a small convenience store.
6. Republic Brewing Company – A local brewery in Republic, serving craft beers and delicious pub food.
7. Colville Pizza Factory – A popular pizza joint in Colville, serving a variety of pizzas and other Italian dishes.
8. Ferry County Memorial Hospital – The nearest hospital in Republic, providing emergency medical services.
9. Colville Police Department – The local police department in Colville, offering emergency assistance and law enforcement.
10. Kettle Falls Fire Department – The fire department in Kettle Falls, providing emergency fire response and assistance.

Kettle Crest Trail Difficulty Notes

The Kettle Crest Trail, located in northeastern Washington state, is known for its challenging terrain and varying difficulty levels. Spanning approximately 44 miles through the Kettle River Range, this trail offers a mix of steep ascents, rocky sections, and narrow ridgelines, making it a demanding and exhilarating experience for hikers. The trail’s elevation changes and rugged terrain require a good level of physical fitness and hiking experience. However, the breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and alpine meadows make the effort worthwhile, attracting adventurous hikers seeking a thrilling and rewarding outdoor adventure.

Features And Attractions

The Kettle Crest Trail is a scenic hiking trail located in northeastern Washington state, USA. It offers breathtaking views, historical sites, and natural landmarks. Here are some notable attractions along the Kettle Crest Trail:

1. Sherman Pass: The trail starts at Sherman Pass, which is the highest point on Washington State Route 20. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

2. Columbia Mountain: As you hike along the trail, you’ll come across Columbia Mountain, which provides stunning vistas of the surrounding wilderness.

3. Copper Butte: This prominent peak along the Kettle Crest Trail offers incredible views of the surrounding Kettle River Range and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

4. Snow Peak: Located in the Colville National Forest, Snow Peak offers breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

5. Sherman Peak: This peak provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and is a popular spot for hikers to take a break and enjoy the scenery.

6. Historic Fire Lookouts: Along the trail, you’ll encounter several historic fire lookout towers, such as the Copper Butte Lookout and the Sherman Peak Lookout. These structures offer a glimpse into the region’s firefighting history and provide excellent vantage points.

7. Kettle River Range: The Kettle Crest Trail traverses the Kettle River Range, a rugged and scenic mountain range known for its diverse flora and fauna.

8. Kettle River: The trail follows the Kettle River for a portion of its route, offering opportunities for fishing, swimming, and enjoying the peacefulness of the river.

9. Wildflowers: During the summer months, the Kettle Crest Trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers, including lupines, Indian paintbrush, and various other species.

10. Wildlife: The trail is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, black bears, and numerous bird species. Keep an eye out for these animals as you hike along the trail.

These are just a few of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can experience while hiking the Kettle Crest Trail.

Usage Guidelines

– Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
– Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed them.
– Campfires are only allowed in designated fire rings or stoves.
– Practice Leave No Trace principles and pack out all trash.
– Camping is only permitted in designated campsites.
– Obtain necessary permits or passes for overnight stays.
– Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during fire season.
– Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths.
– Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
– Hunting and fishing may be allowed in certain areas, but check local regulations.
– Be prepared for changing weather conditions and carry appropriate gear.
– Check for any trail updates or closures before your visit.

Seasonal Information

The Kettle Crest Trail, located in northeastern Washington state, offers breathtaking views and a unique hiking experience throughout the year. However, the best times to visit the trail depend on personal preferences and the desired hiking conditions.

One of the most popular times to hike the Kettle Crest Trail is during the summer months, from June to September. During this time, the weather is generally warm and dry, making it ideal for long hikes and camping. The trail is also at its busiest during this period, with many hikers taking advantage of the longer daylight hours and pleasant temperatures. The summer months offer stunning wildflower displays, lush greenery, and the opportunity to spot wildlife such as deer, elk, and various bird species.

On the other hand, some hikers prefer to visit the Kettle Crest Trail during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. In spring, usually from April to May, the trail comes alive with blooming wildflowers and vibrant colors. The temperatures are mild, and the trail is less crowded compared to the summer months. Fall, from September to October, offers a different kind of beauty as the foliage turns into a stunning array of red, orange, and gold. The cooler temperatures and fewer visitors make it a peaceful time to explore the trail.

It is important to note that the Kettle Crest Trail has seasonal closures due to snowfall. The trail is typically inaccessible during the winter months, from November to March, as heavy snow covers the area. It is not recommended to attempt hiking during this time due to the hazardous conditions and limited facilities. It is advisable to check with local authorities or the U.S. Forest Service for up-to-date information on trail closures and conditions before planning a visit.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Kettle Crest Trail are during the summer months for warm weather and vibrant landscapes, or during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall for milder temperatures and fewer crowds. However, it is important to be aware of the seasonal closures during the winter months when the trail is covered in snow. Regardless of the time of year, the Kettle Crest Trail promises stunning scenery and a memorable hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Kettle Crest Trail is not wheelchair accessible due to its rugged terrain and steep inclines.
2. ADA Accommodations: The trail does not have specific ADA accommodations, such as accessible parking, restrooms, or designated accessible areas.
3. Trail Surface: The trail consists of natural surfaces, including dirt, rocks, and uneven terrain, which may pose challenges for wheelchair users.
4. Trail Width: The trail width varies throughout, and some sections may not be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
5. Trail Grade: The trail has steep sections with significant elevation changes, making it unsuitable for wheelchair users.
6. Trail Obstacles: The trail may have fallen trees, rocks, or other obstacles that can impede wheelchair passage.
7. Trail Length: The Kettle Crest Trail spans approximately 44 miles, making it a long and challenging journey for individuals with mobility limitations.
8. Alternative Access Points: While the main trail may not be accessible, there might be alternative access points or nearby trails that offer more wheelchair-friendly options.
9. Accessibility Information: It is recommended to contact local authorities or trail management organizations for specific accessibility information and potential alternative accessible trails in the area.
10. Consideration for Other Disabilities: While wheelchair accessibility is limited, individuals with other disabilities may still enjoy parts of the trail, depending on their specific needs and abilities.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Kettle Crest Trail is a challenging and rugged trail, suitable for experienced hikers with good physical fitness.
2. Weather Conditions: Be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions, including high winds, rain, and snow, as the trail is located in a mountainous region.
3. Navigation Skills: Carry a detailed map, compass, or GPS device, as the trail can be difficult to follow in some sections.
4. Water Sources: Plan your water supply carefully, as there are limited water sources along the trail, and some may be unreliable during dry seasons.
5. Wildlife Encounters: Be aware of potential encounters with wildlife, including bears, cougars, and rattlesnakes, and take necessary precautions such as making noise and storing food properly.
6. Trail Conditions: Check for trail conditions and closures before starting your hike, as the trail may be impassable or unsafe due to fallen trees, landslides, or other hazards.
7. Emergency Communication: Carry a fully charged cell phone or satellite communication device for emergencies, as cell reception may be limited or nonexistent in some areas.
8. Camping Regulations: Familiarize yourself with camping regulations and obtain necessary permits if planning to camp along the trail, as restrictions may apply.
9. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, minimizing campfire impacts, and respecting the natural environment.
10. Hiking in Groups: Consider hiking with a partner or in a group for safety, as the trail can be remote and isolated in certain sections.

Conservation Notes

The Kettle Crest Trail, located in northeastern Washington State, is a significant natural resource with a conservation status that reflects its ecological importance. The trail traverses the Kettle River Range, a unique landscape characterized by rugged peaks, deep valleys, and diverse ecosystems. As a result of its ecological significance, the Kettle Crest Trail has been designated as a part of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, highlighting its conservation value.

The conservation status of the Kettle Crest Trail is primarily focused on preserving its natural habitats and biodiversity. The trail passes through a variety of ecosystems, including subalpine meadows, old-growth forests, and alpine tundra, providing habitat for numerous plant and animal species. Efforts are made to protect these habitats from human disturbances, such as unauthorized off-trail travel or excessive camping, which can disrupt fragile ecosystems and threaten sensitive species.

Conservation initiatives for the Kettle Crest Trail also aim to maintain water quality in the surrounding areas. The trail intersects several streams and rivers, which are vital for the survival of aquatic species and provide drinking water for local communities. Protecting these water sources from pollution and erosion is crucial to ensure the long-term health of the ecosystem and the sustainability of the trail.

Overall, the conservation status of the Kettle Crest Trail reflects its importance as a natural resource and the need to preserve its unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Through ongoing conservation efforts, the trail can continue to provide recreational opportunities while safeguarding its ecological integrity for future generations.

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