Forum Index > Trip Reports > Crowell Ridge (Salmo-Priest Wilderness) July 21-24, 2022
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RichP
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RichP
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 8:38 am 
A BCRT with WTA to clear the 8-mile trail on this high ridge in the eastern end of the Salmo-Priest Wilderness. There are several access points to the ridge and we started from the highest trailhead at Bear Pasture which is at the end of a forest road at 5560.' Peakbaggers will recognize this as the shortest way to Gypsy Peak, highpoint of Pend Oreille County and the highest point in eastern Wa.  This road is gated yearly 6.5 miles from the end after Aug 15th to preserve grizzly habitat so vehicle access is pretty short in summer.

I arrived early the day before so Holly (our crew leader) and I could hike up to Prouty Peak. Old USGS maps show a trail leaving from Bear Pasture that ascends to the old lookout site just south of the summit. Though unmaintained for many decades the trail still exists. There are some brushy sections but it is indeed still followable for the most part where chest high brush has not swallowed it.

Info from Eric Willhite:
http://willhiteweb.com/fire_lookouts/prouty_peak_lookout/green_mountain_209.htm

Typical conditions on ridge to Prouty Peak
Typical conditions on ridge to Prouty Peak
Crowell Ridge from part way up Prouty
Crowell Ridge from part way up Prouty
Prouty Peak
Prouty Peak
Arriving to the lookout site south of the summit
Arriving to the lookout site south of the summit
Prouty Peak from Crowell Ridge
Prouty Peak from Crowell Ridge

The following morning the group packed up and headed for Crowell Ridge. It was about 1200' of climbing and 3.9 miles to camp. We logged out the trail on the way up and worked on some tread issues.

Bear grass and clouds
Bear grass and clouds
Arriving to the top of Crowell Ridge
Arriving to the top of Crowell Ridge
Abercrombie and Hooknose to the west
Abercrombie and Hooknose to the west
Shedroof Divide and Idaho Selkirks beyond
Shedroof Divide and Idaho Selkirks beyond

The following day we set off toward the south end of Crowell Ridge where we continued work on the trail. Along the way the trail passes just below a couple of peaks so I hiked up both during breaks.

Crowell Ridge Middle Peak
Crowell Ridge Middle Peak
View north toward Gypsy Pk from Crowell Ridge South Peak
View north toward Gypsy Pk from Crowell Ridge South Peak

We got about 2 miles from camp and headed back for the day after getting lots done.

The following morning two of us set out early to try to complete the logout of the remaining two miles to Sullivan Mountain where the southern trailhead is located. We picked up our tools where we had left them the day before and continued with sawing duties. The rest of the crew followed behind with other tasks.

South on Crowell Ridge from our campsite at 6620'
South on Crowell Ridge from our campsite at 6620'
Plastic bag in hand
Plastic bag in hand

The ridge is by no means flat and there are some ups and downs. There were plenty of logs to clear along the way to keep us busy.

Sullivan Mtn in the distance
Sullivan Mtn in the distance
Finally at Sullivan Mountain Lookout on the south end of Crowell Ridge
Finally at Sullivan Mountain Lookout on the south end of Crowell Ridge
Looking back north toward our camp 4 miles away
Looking back north toward our camp 4 miles away

The walk back was brutal in the heat and we were dog tired from all the work we had done. A few raindrops were most welcome but we were wary of the sounds of nearby thunder. After dinner we settled in for a good sleep.

Our ridge top camp at the junction of Crowell Ridge and North Fork Sullivan Ck trails
Our ridge top camp at the junction of Crowell Ridge and North Fork Sullivan Ck trails

The next day was the hike out and brushing toward the wilderness boundary. The swim in Sulliivan Lake definitely made the long drive home more tolerable.

Lindsay, HitTheTrail, Bramble_Scramble, awilsondc, Nancyann, Cyclopath, glenoid, jaysway, NWtrax, reststep, Gimpilator
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raising3hikers
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Location: Edmonds, Wa
raising3hikers
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PostTue Jul 26, 2022 7:20 pm 
Thanks for the trail work and good to see a TR from that area

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Eric Eames

RichP
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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 9:42 am 
How was the road to Bearsprings trail head? I did that trail from that trail head about a decade ago and it was the 3rd scariest road I had driven - (the first being the day before to Salmo Lookout in a lightning storm).  horrible condition, and no where to turn around, so just kept going. The trail was in really good shape then. (but I only went to the lookout site).

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"..living on the east side of the Sierra world be ideal - except for harsher winters and the chance of apocalyptic fires burning the whole area."

Bosterson, NWHiker's marketing expert
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RichP
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Location: here and there
RichP
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PostWed Jul 27, 2022 11:09 am 
The road is a little brushy the last mile or so to Bear Pasture but not in bad shape. Subaru type clearance is fine. The Salmo Lookout is being fixed up as a nightly rental and the road is scheduled to be upgraded to Prius standards soon.

Salmo Mtn Lookout
Salmo Mtn Lookout

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