Hike of the Month: Abercrombie Mountain by means of Flume Creek Trail

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Colville National Forest

Not that the Inland Northwest has specifically tall mountains, as the Selkirk Variety cannot pretty measure up to Cascade requirements for height, but Abercrombie Peak comes in as the second tallest mountain in eastern Washington at 7,308 feet. The good element about moderately tall mountains is that they often have trails top straight to their summits. In the case of Abercrombie, hikers have 3 routes from which to pick. Abercrombie also tends to make the list of “ultra-prominent” peaks, or peaks with a lot more than 1,500 meters (four,900 feet) of topographic prominence. Numerous western Washington summits outrank Abercrombie in general height, but in terms of prominence, it comes in at fortunate quantity seven in Washington and does not call for the technical climbing capabilities important for these who want to ascend the mountains that outrank it.

A tiny snow in the higher nation // Photo by Holly Weiler

The majority of Abercrombie hikers climb the peak from its two western trailheads. For a new vantage point on a classic Inland Northwest hike, attempt the Flume Creek Trail on its eastern flank rather. It is a beautiful compromise in between the most well-liked method from the Abercrombie trailhead, which supplies the shortest route but begins on an old road bed in a former clear-reduce, and the North Fork Silver Creek trailhead, which boasts amazing views in a a lot more complicated and greater-mileage hike. Flume Creek is the Goldilocks alternative: just proper with mature forests, beautiful fall colors, outstanding views, and a moderate distance and grade. Flume Creek to North Fork Silver Creek is also a portion of the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT), a extended-distance hiking trail connecting from Glacier National Park in Montana to the Pacific Ocean on the Olympic Peninsula. Section hiking portions of the PNT delivers an exceptional introduction to extended trails in our area. 

Offered Abercrombie’s ultra-prominence status, it is no wonder the trail climbs steadily from the get started. Nonetheless, the trail was constructed at a constant grade that does not have severely steep sections to contend with. It is just a continuous up, finest accomplished at a steady pace with occasional stops to take in the view of the Pend Oreille River valley far under or Canada just a quick distance to the north. By October the surrounding forest boasts a good mix of evergreen interspersed with vibrant yellow larch, when the decrease increasing deciduous shrubs fill in with several shades of red and orange. 

For these who would favor to attempt this as a backpack trip, two tiny campsites exist along the route, the very first at 1.9 miles from the trailhead and the second at the three.1 mile mark. Each are dry campsites (no water), though often by late fall there may perhaps be some snow accessible to melt. Otherwise, strategy to pack all necessary water for a trip right here. At the second campsite, Flume Creek Trail intersects the Abercrombie Trail. Bear proper and continue uphill about a mile to attain the rocky summit. 

Ascending the Flume Creek Trail to Abercrombie // Photo by Holly Weiler

The summit consists of a handful of remnants bearing witness to its former fire lookout status. The lookout tower is extended gone, but the stone actions and a tiny stone shelter stay. The neighboring peak, Hooknose, is a quick off-trail scramble away for these who would like an improved difficulty level. Soon after taking in the view, return by means of the exact same route. From late October into November, guests will require to monitor climate reports for snow level and strategy accordingly for trailhead access. 

Round-trip distance: eight miles

Rating: Moderate/complicated

Elevation achieve: two,423 feet

Map:  USGS Boundary Dam, USGS Abercrombie

Acquiring there: From Metaline, Wash./Highway 31, turn left on Boundary Road. At three.six miles, turn left on Forest Road 350. Continue 7.five miles to a tiny trailhead parking region on the proper. Higher clearance encouraged.

Help Nearby Trails: Join the Washington Trails Association at a BLM-hosted National Public Lands Day volunteer occasion at Fishtrap Recreation Location on Oct. five.

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