Forum Index > Trip Reports > Kent Lake Cabin -- Selkirk Crest -- Idaho Panhandle
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tinytowers
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PostThu Sep 25, 2014 5:38 pm 
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With summer-like weather on the horizon, I called up my buddy Mark, and we made our way up to the Selkirks for a drop down into the Kent Lake cirque. I’d been up on Kent Ridge the week before exploring possible routes to the lake and the cabin, and came away with a couple of options; neither of them easy.

I’ve been meaning to get to the lake for quite some time after finding out about a secret, hush-hush cabin located on its northern shore. The cabin is privately owned and the land somehow acquired in a land exchange some forty years ago. The owner has chosen to leave it unlocked, as long as the cabin is treated with respect and replenished with any supplies used. It is fully stocked with food, a first aid kit and expired powdered milk, but I recommend bringing your own stash and maybe an extra candle or two. It’s recommended you call the owner beforehand to arrange your stay. This might also help you to avoid sharing the cabin with other parties. The owner’s name is Gary Miller, and his phone number is 509.248.7398.

After reading through the guestbook it became apparent that the cabin is more of a winter destination. Most of the entries were from snowmobilers and back-country skiers looking for a snowy escape into the “Kirks”. One skier had written about a midnight romp to the cabin from Long Canyon Ridge under a full moon, but it seems most people skin their way up to Kent Peak and bomb back down the cabin below. Winter access is through Lion’s Creek drainage, but I wouldn’t recommend this route in the summer or fall, unless brush bashing is your thing.

The lake itself is stunning and the 1500’ granite cirque it’s cradled by is absolutely incredible. However, I was a bit disappointed with the weedy shoreline and lack of fish. If you’re looking to spend some time on the lake, there are some really nice granite slabs on the southwest end, one large enough to pitch a tent on.

To get to the trailhead, head north on I-95 out of Sandpoint and turn west into Naples. Bear right on Deep Creek Rd (Old Hwy 2). Continue north 5.7 miles and turn left toward Snow Creek Road. Drive 2 miles to a Y and take the gravel road to the left (FR 402). Take this road for about 18 miles to the trailhead. *IMPORTANT* When you reach the signs for Bottleneck Lake and Roman Nose Lakes, take a hard right switchback turn onto FR 661 (might also be labeled 633 on the map)

Take the Two Mouth trail up roughly 3-4 miles to a junction in the trail and the beginning of the ridge heading west toward the Kent Lake area. After this, it’s all off-trail scrambling. Once you've reached the Kent Peak/Wigwam saddle junction, look for a somewhat grassy area below and start  your descent.

There’s no easy way down, and the route requires some major boulder hopping through massive talus fields.

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Treehugger5
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PostThu Sep 25, 2014 11:15 pm 
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Cool TR. Sounds like a great trip-- until the coming back up part.  wink.gif

What do you estimate total mileage to be?

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Elrond's Rocket of Rivendell~ hiker and runner extraordinaire
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tinytowers
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PostFri Sep 26, 2014 12:23 am 
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Thanks, it was a good one.

Total mileage round trip would be about 15 miles and maybe 5k gain. Keep in mind that 60-70% of that is off-trail scrambling. It's totally doable. I could probably do it in a day, but I don't see the point.

Make it to the Selkirk's much? Always looking for company.
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Redwic
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PostFri Sep 26, 2014 5:16 am 
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Nice!!!  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

tinytowers wrote:
Make it to the Selkirk's much? Always looking for company.

I might be up for visiting Little Snowy Top (fire lookout) and Snowy Top (over 1800' of prominence) within the next 1-2 years.

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"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
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Backpacker Joe
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PostFri Sep 26, 2014 7:19 am 
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Thats awesome.  Thanks for the beta. up.gif

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tinytowers
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PostFri Sep 26, 2014 9:37 am 
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LST is a favorite Selkirk destination of mine. I'd go late in the year if I were you. Still need to summit its bigger brother.
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Chief Joseph
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PostFri Sep 26, 2014 5:38 pm 
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I really like that area and i really like TR's that actually give you the info needed to actually find the TH and take the hike, thanks!

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Dubeman44
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PostFri May 08, 2015 1:03 pm 
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this hike is completely worthwhile me and five of my buddies checked it out last summer right before you were there actually super cool journey super rewarding super hard though took us 11 hours to get from the trailhead at wigwams to the cabin hiked out going towards lions head and the waterslides camped at the top of the slides hike out the next day total of 5 days up there. planning on camping at the first stream you come to going up wigwams and spending a day on the ridgeline next. the hike out towards the water slides was extremely hard as you mentioned lots of bushwhacking we tried to go up that way to Kentlake the previous summer but didn't plan for it accordingly the only way to go up that way in my eyes is to camp at that main campsite at the top of the water slides and then have a fresh start in the morning to bushwhack through to the lake both ways no matter how you look at it or hard traversing the ridgeline means that you have to deal with all of that vertical gain and descent but going up from the other side means you have to bushwhack I might try going up the stream sometime but waders would be necessary
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Shelby
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PostTue Jun 14, 2016 11:47 am 
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I was wondering if anyone could provide a few more details about the trail to get from the Wigwam summit to Kent lake? I'm trying to organize an overnight hike for a group of Whitworth University students and would love more details to be able to provide them with. What is the terrain like? Is there a clear path? Are there stream crossings? Is this a doable overnight trip if they stay at Kent lake? Are there any campsites at the lake or just the cabin? Thank you in advance for any answers!
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Dubeman44
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PostThu Jun 16, 2016 2:48 pm 
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The hike from the parking area up wigwams is not bad at all. About 10 min in, u will come to a nice campsite by a little stream. If you camped there and hiked back towards the Stream see a Boulder Field that you can climb most of the way up to the closest Peak it only took me and my dog 20 minutes. From the campsite it's a short hike to the base of the switchbacks that lead up wigwams. The switchbacks were really brutal on our party due to the fact that we were all carrying 50 and 60 pound packs with us. Once you're at the top you will have to navigate around the Peaks which was a little scary but worth it when you come around the other side to the Ridgeline. I did not notice any established Trail along the Ridgeline that we were following. There is a section after you get to the end of that first Ridge where you will have to drop down and then back up on the other side of a saddle sort of. It looks safe enough to cross straight across without dropping down and requiring you to climb back up however half of our group opted for the high road and the other half opted for the low road. The high road proved to be much more difficult than we anticipated however through careful attention and focus on what we were doing we safely made it across the safer route is definitely the low road though. After that you are basically on the ridge leading down into the bowl of Kent Lake. You kind of want to stay along the edge of the tree line as much as you can on the way down but after doing it and experiencing the thick brush and steep descent going down there and looking at the map it looks like it might have been easier to try and Boulder hop our way down the large Boulder Field. From there you've made it to Kent Lake there is what looks like a potential campsite on a large granite slab on one side of the lake opposite the cabin. Good luck navigating out from there we hiked our way out towards Lions head Lions head. The terrain there is very thick we had to bushwhack a significant amount you begin by following a trail out from kentlake and it looks like you start to climb up a good ways that's where we think we may have gone wrong but we ended up having to bushwhack a significant way through to find the campsite at the top of lions head there are I think 3 stream Crossings but there may be for before you get to that campsite but from there on out the trail is easily accessible and well-marked
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tinytowers
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PostTue Apr 23, 2019 9:19 pm 
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Finally made it in to cabin in winter, and I must say the line from the Kent Peak summit down to the cabin is pure epicness. Such a sick zone.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Kent Lake Cabin -- Selkirk Crest -- Idaho Panhandle
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