Words and photos by Sharon Bader and Lee Lau unless otherwise noted.
In Washington State between the towns of Republic and Kettle Falls on Scenic Highway 20 is Sherman Pass. If you’re still not sure where this is, South East of Osoyoos, West of Spokane. Still don’t know? Well that’s why the trails are in such great shape! Riding info of this area is tough to find, maps are scarce but if you can figure it out some epic XC awaits. We had the opportunity to check out this area at the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance Kettle Fest. This consisted of 4 ride days and one work party day. There are groups who would like to see this area dedicated Wilderness. This means NO MOUNTAIN BIKES! So Evergreen is working with the Forest Service to ensure mountain bikers will continue to have access to this area.
This is a great area to check out. The trails are in great shape and there is hardly anyone around.
We camped at the Jungle Hill Campground.
On Albion Rd 2030 off Scenic Hwy 20, this is a site without services used mainly by the Horse people who were the main visitors in this area. Sherman creek runs near the site to keep your beer cold and rinse off your legs after your dusty ride.
10km, and 300m of elevation gain from the campground on Albian Rd 2030 is the Old Stage Coach Trailhead. This road was the previous route over Sherman Pass before Hwy 20 was built. Today’s ride was a 21mile/30km trip over the ridge of Copper Butte, Scar Mt, Wapaloosie, Jungle Hill around Columbia mountain and down Sherman tie trail back to the campground. Part of the group shortened the ride by heading down Jungle Hill to the Campground. Total climbing was 1200m. NOTE – Wapaloosie trail is not recommended either up or down. Very steep and chundry
Gearing up at the Old Stage Trail Head.
Peter, John and Anthony
Climbing up the Old Stage Trail.
Intersection with Copper Butte in the background.
Climbing up Copper Butte.
Riding the singletrack overlooking the Kettle Crest area.
Jim on his Flux
Kettle Crest single track!
Eric, a sprite 57, rippin’ it up!
Sharon on the trail.
Grouping at one of the intersections.
The group doing the bigger climb. The last climb up towards Columbia Mt.
Whoops! Even the swoopy stuff has some surprises!
Coming out to the parking lot that you can access from Hwy 20. We got onto Sherman Tie from here, our last descent back to the campground.
Day Two was a work day. The Evergreen Crew was in the area to help out the Forest Service with some trail clearing, culvert fixing and rock blasting. We joined the crew heading to Sherman Peak and the Snow Peak Cabin to clear out some trees. We were also supposed to help build culverts but the day was too late and this task was left to Art, Glen, Peter and Ellen who didn’t get back to camp until 8:00.
Top of the Pass.
Climbing up Sherman Peak.
More Single track! This area is also popular in winter for ski touring!
Some of the blow down we cleared with hand saws!
Intersection of Sherman peak loop with Snow peak.
We went to the picture left of this trail on the way back. REALLY fun descent.
Single track heading to Snow peak. The trees in this area burned in the 1980’s.
Glen on the Snow peak trail. Snow peak is in the back, you can see the cabin along the lower part of the ridge.
Snow Peak Cabin !
Jim, Lee, Glen, Eric, Peter, Jen, Scott, Emily, Art and Cathy
Single track coming back around Sherman peak.
Pano. This loop with the diversion to Snow peak was 21km, with ~600m of climbing.
Burgers for dinner! The big white thing is a puff ball mushroom!
Day 3 we did a loop from our campground up Sherman
Tie to Columbia mountain, we did a side trip up Columbia, came back down, rode to Jungle Hill and down 640m in 5.8km! The total climbing today was ~1200m in 28km.
Intersection with Columbia Mountain.
Lunch spot on Columbia Mountain.
Looking towards Jungle Hill and the ride we did two days previously.
Hoodoo Canyon. Day 4 we wanted a quick out and back on something new so we headed south to Hoodoo Canyon. Heading towards Kettle Falls turn off towards Trout Lake. At the end of the road is the trailhead to Hoodoo Canyon. The trail is only 4.7 miles long to the road. We didn’t do the whole length. We just rode out to where the single track was good and turned back for our long drive home. Unique to this area is the Cedar trees as you descend to Deadman road.
Trail heading up.
After our 3 hour ride, quick dip in the lake we were heading home.
Kettle Crest – Hoodoos from Lee Lau on Vimeo.
Buzzing metropolis of Republic.
Overview Video of Kettle Crest
Overview Map of Kettle Crest
Getting there from Vancouver.
We drove Hwy 3 towards Osoyoos and crossed the border at Nighthawk. Headed down Hwy 97 to Hwy 20 and across to Sherman pass. We bought food in the Anderson’s in Republic. Ok selection but don’t expect much variety.
They had good beer though.
In between the small towns of Republic and Kettle Falls, less than 2 miles NE of Sherman Pass on Highway 20. Head North on Albian Hill Rd#2030. Follow road for .6 miles to the sign at the edge of the gravel pit. From there turn left and head .2 miles to the campsite area. The campground provides a single bathroom, fire pits, and tables. Water is accessible from a creek but requires treatment. Supplies can be replenished from stores in or near the towns of Republic, and Kettle Falls. Colville is the largest town and is about a half hour drive from camp.
Maps of the area:
Photo’s of the guide book available at the Kettle Falls Forest Service station.
Colville National Forest Information Website
The Colville National Forest FS Dept of Agriculture Map is a good one to have. They are available at the Forest Service Centers in the area.