Maple Mountain Hike

Hike Rating: Moderate
Hike Length: 5.4 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1,520’
Trailhead Elevation: 3,910’
Best Season: May to September
Driving Access: Any vehicle

Plus Points
• One of the best old-growth forest hikes in the Highlands, with bonus views
• Trail is within the Clackamas Mtn. Roadless Area and is closed to motorized travel
• Splendid panoramic vistas across the Highlands near the summit of Maple Mountain
• Old-growth stands of western larch and douglas fir are found throughout the hike
• Mule deer and elk are common in the forested and shady mountain bench habitats
• This seldom-used trail is both an intimate forest hike and a good view hike in one

Minus Points
• A few steep grades on both the developed trail and cross-country hike to the summit
• Expect some blown-down trees across the trail in the lower, forested sections
• Lots of cow activity in the upper half of the trail (but not on the high summit ridges)

Download (PDF, 699 KB): Photos of Maple Mountain Hike
Download (PDF, 655 KB): Topo Map for Maple Mountain Hike
Download (GPX, 1 KB): GPS Points for Maple Mountain Hike
Download (PDF, 582 KB): Road Map for Maple Mountain Hike

Trail Notes
Map of Maple Mountain Hike
From the signed trailhead on Road 2086, the trail descends gradually north through old-growth larch and fir to a well-built footbridge at 0.5 miles, which conveys hikers across the marshy floodplain of Granite Creek. Past the footbridge, after a short steep scramble up onto a stream terrace, the trail begins a long, 0.8 mile traverse up the east-facing side of the canyon, through immense old-growth larch and fir stands that have never been logged. As the trail gains elevation, one has occasional views east through the trees of the summit ridge of Storm King Mtn.

At 1.3 miles, the trail makes a wide, steep switchback at a downed fence, then follows this fence back uphill to the west. Within 300 yards, the trail passes through a wire gate (GPS Point 1 — leave the gate as you find it!), then gains the top of the ridge and heads north. The track can be hard to follow here, as cattle have churned and trampled the wet meadows, but if one keeps following the fence line north, the trail is soon regained. Despite the intensity of cow activity in this section, the old-growth trees here are magnificent and the hiking is easy through the shady, grassy understory.

Leaving the forest at 2.1 miles, the trail contours west and climbs gradually up across the dry, rocky southwest flank of Maple Mountain. Here the views open up to the south and one has long vistas down the Maple Creek drainage to Fir Mountain and points beyond. Following the trail as it climbs across the open slope, one soon comes to a high point at 2.3 miles (GPS Point 2), where the trail starts a descent into a forested canyon. From this high point, the route leaves the trail and is cross-country to the north toward the summit of Maple Mountain. The slope is steep, but by making long switchbacks across the grassy hillside under the scattered firs, the hiking is relatively easy. Look for mule deer on the shady benches as one ascends.

The actual peak of Maple Mountain is covered with thick trees blocking the views, but the east ridge is open grassland and rock, with spectacular views (GPS Point 3). From this viewpoint, one has vistas north to Bodie Mountain, east to the Kettle Range crest and wide views south across the Okanogan Highlands. Return as you came.

Road to the Trailhead
From downtown Republic, WA, drive 2.4 miles west on Hwy 20, then turn right (north) on gravel Trout Creek Road. After 0.7 miles, turn left (northwest) on Sheridan Road. Drive 3.9 miles, past private forest lands and homes, to the signed trailhead on the left, just 50 yards past the cattle guard at the Forest boundary. Park off to the side of the road, taking care not to block passage in either direction.

The first two miles of Sheridan Road are good graded gravel, and the last 2 miles are much narrower and rockier — but any passenger car should be able to travel it, taking care in the rough and rocky spots.

Camping Options
The nearest public campground is at the Ferry County Fairgrounds, on Hwy 20 about 2.3 miles east of its junction with Hwy 21 just south of Republic, WA, and about 9 driving miles from the trailhead. On a large expanse of lawn with just a few shade trees are 102 RV sites with power and water hookups, plus additional tent-only spaces. The campground also offers restrooms and coin-operated showers. Fees in 2015 were $5.00 per night for tent campers and $15.00 per night for utility hookups.

The next nearest public campground is Curlew Lake State Park, a 125-acre site on Hwy 21 about 9 miles north of Republic and about 16 driving miles from the trailhead. Spread out over three loop roads are 57 tent campsites and 25 utility hookup sites. The campground has 2 restrooms, 4 showers and a dump station, plus a park store and two boat ramps. The campground is closed in the winter months, from late October to late March. Reservations are recommended in summer and can be made at the WA State Parks website or by calling (888) 226-7688. Fees in 2015 were $12.00 per night for primitive sites, $25.00 for standard campsites and $30.00-$45.00 for utility hookup sites.

Agency Contact: Colville National Forest, Republic District, (509) 775-7400

DISCLAIMER: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, but the authors do not guarantee that it is either current or correct. The reader assumes full responsibility for any use of this information, and is encouraged to contact local public land agencies to inquire about current conditions before traveling.

Page last updated: 11/1/15