Chewelah Mountain

September 1, 2019


Chewelah / NE Washington, WA

Chewelah Mountain boasts the small secret ski resort of “49 degrees North” near the town of Chewelah in NE Washington but for peak-baggers like myself the skiing is by no mean the attraction. This small peak boasts just under 600 m topographic prominence and is very easy to attain. The access is via the ski resort’s service roads from the highs pass on Flowery Trail Road connecting Pend Orielle River valley to the town of Chewelah in Colville River valley. The highest spur road is gated but only has around 2 km of distance and 200 m elevation gain.

Adam and I were joined by James B. and his family towards the end of this extended peak-bagging road trip. After finishing Calispell Peak we were going to drive directly to Huckleberry Mountain, the most prominent summit in the vicinity. I thought we had to do a lengthy detour to the south on major highways but Google directed us over a high mountain pass. I played with the maps and noticed a small ski resort at the pass and further searching showed there’s actually a named summit right in the resort. It seemed like a road goes all the way to the summit so I did some digging. The highest spur road was apparently gated for vehicle access but I estimated the round trip detour time including the extra driving would not exceed 1.5 hours. The others weren’t super keen but I managed to convince them. My theory of peak-bagging is to not miss every single summit if it’s within reach, and this one was certainly the case.

Chewelah Mountain drive-up and road-walk. GPX DL

We easily drove up the access gravel roads to the gate and the gate was locked as expected. The hike to the summit was uneventful but boring. The summit itself was also boring with lots of man-made structures and not-so-great views, but there was a fancy restroom that I appreciated.

As much as the road walk on the highest spur

Our group walking the road. Boring as heck.

The views were really boring too…

Adam walking towards the true summit…

As much as the views from the summit. Lots and lots of structures

Me on the summit of Chewelah Mountain

The hike down was fast and we were soon back onto the roads. As we drove towards the final objective I noticed that the nearby Stensgar Mtn. has very much the exact same elevation as Huckleberry Mtn. that holds the prominence. The official heights of the two were only differed by two meters so we had no choice but bagging both.

Calispell Peak, our previous objective

Hiking down the road…