Kettle River Range Hikes

Map of Kettle River Range Hike Locations
The Kettle Range is a line of rounded mountains running north-south for 35 miles from the Canadian border to the Colville Indian Reservation, just west of the Columbia River Valley. Though far from population centers and mostly lightly-traveled, the crest is served by over 20 trailheads with good access roads, all managed for conservation by Colville National Forest. The compact scale of this range and its good trail system make it ideal for day hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Gas and services are available at Republic, WA, on the west and Kettle Falls on the east.

Formed by intrusive granite 50 to 70 million years ago, the Kettle Range was ground down by the continental ice sheet during the last Ice Age — leaving the smooth, rounded topography seen today, with just a few peaks over 7,000’. Though covered with a climax forest of douglas fir,
ponderosa pine and red cedar, the range’s history of intense wildfires has converted large tracts to lodgepole pine and alpine meadows. Forests recovering from old fires are found throughout the range. Many of the highest peaks have open slopes on their drier southern exposures, with fescue grasses and sagebrush, offering superb views of the surrounding montane landscape.

Download (PDF, 989 KB): Location Map of Kettle Range Hikes
Download (PDF, 818 KB): Photos of the Kettle River Range

Because State Hwy 20 crosses at mid-range over Sherman Pass, adjacent trailheads can be relatively busy, especially on summer weekends. With easy access to the Kettle Crest Trail and nearby tracks, this pass area is now heavily-used by mountain bikers and is a good place to avoid if seeking hiking solitude. Since the northern half of the range recently burned in the massive Stickpin Fire of August 2015, we’ve focused our day hikes on those other parts of the range still relatively pristine and less-visited.

  • White Mountain Trail
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The four day hikes we’ve selected offer a good sampling of the Kettle Range, from its deep glaciated canyons to its high alpine ridges. The 3.4-mile (one way) White Mountain Trail offers perhaps the most outstanding views in the range from its alpine meadows and 6,920’ summit. The easy Hoodoo Canyon Trail climbs through uncut firs and cedars to a low pass, then descends to Emerald Lake at 3.1 miles. Both the Packrat Ridge Hike (3.3 miles one-way) and the Midnight Mountain Hike (3.0 miles) follow developed trails at first, then climb cross-country to high ridges with panoramic vistas.

White Mountain Trail
Hoodoo Canyon Trail
Packrat Ridge Hike
Midnight Mountain Hike

1-Kettle Range Hike Locations