I don’t know how you guys normally spell relief, but today I spelled it a-b-e-r-c-r-o-m-b-i-e. The last time I found myself passing through Chewelah and Colville was on a one day road trip to Kettle Falls about twelve years ago. This time I stayed awake, and was able to truly appreciate the country before me. Being in this remote corner of Washington State is like stepping out of a time machine into an earlier day, when life was much simpler. After heading east out of Colville, on highway 20, then north on Aladdin, passing tranquil Deep Lake, we found our selves taking a right onto Silver Creek Road, and after 10 long miles of rough road we found the trailhead, elevation 4,090 feet. Martha and I departed the trailhead about 10:00am after about a three hour drive form Spokane. Trail #117 starts out a little over grown, but widens after the first couple long switchbacks. With Martha out front, she set a steady pace until an unusual encounter with a fairly large snake that stopped her dead in her tracks. After a couple laughs we were back on the trail gaining elevation toward the summit. After crossing over and under a couple of easy blow downs we reached the junction with the North Fork Silver Creek trail #119 at about 1.4 miles. After taking a left we continued on the summit route through dense forest. As we ascended the timber begin to thin giving way to high mountain meadows and abundant wild flowers. Once again Martha came to a sudden stop standing face to face with a grouse. I remembered hearing that this giant bird could sometimes be aggressive and didn’t waste time drawing the mace. I couldn’t help being a little anxious after being charged by a big horn sheep in the same area a little over a month ago. After a couple pictures we passed the massive mountain bird continuing on our quest for the top. The higher and higher we got the more and more flowers we found. It was truly amazing. The flower display on Abercrombie Mountain was one of the best iv ever seen. The final push to the summit was relentless, and the views from the top amazing. Abercrombie Mountain is eastern Washington’s second highest peak at 7,308 feet, just 12 inches short of Gypsy Peak for number one at 7,309 feet. To the northwest we could see the clear cut U.S./Canadian border, the small towns of Rossland, and Trail, British Columbia, and in the far distance, Valhalla Provincial Park. Immediately to our north was Hooknose Mountain, 7,210 feet. To the east was the Pend Orellie River valley, Salmo-Priest Wilderness, and Selkirk Range. To our south sat Sherlock Peak, Calispell Mountain, and Mount Linton. A look west allowed views deep into the Kettle Range and beyond. Abercrombie is a must see, do yourself a favor and visit it one day. 7 miles round trip with 3,220 feet of elevation gained. There are three ways to the top, and I can’t wait the hike the other two.
Source for hike: “100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest” Rich Landers
“50 Hikes for Eastern Washington’s Highes Peaks” James P. Johnson
Hey, thanks for the trip report and great pics of my favorite peak in NE Washington. I nursed my Honda Accord up that road to the TH and found it was worth the effort. I had done Copper Butte earlier the same day and in 100 degree heat (in Colville) was happy to enjoy the cooler summit of Abercrombie. Here's a NWHiker thread from 2003 of my Abercrombie trip which also shares some of Alan Bauer's experiences there.
The flower show up near the summit is indeed a special feature and your pics show that beauty. More info on Abercrombie can be found on my summitpost page which highlights the mountain. Some of your pictures would be a welcome addition to that page.
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