Hall Mountain via Noisy Creek– It’s a haul to this old lookout site

Quick Facts:

Location: Selkirk Mountains, Eastern Washington

Land Agency: National Forest Service

Roundtrip: 14 miles

Elevation Gain: 4130 feet

Contact: Sullivan Lake District, Colville National Forest

Notes: Practice Leave No Trace principles; grizzly habitat, trail passes recent burn zone–use caution

Access: From Newport, Washington follow SR 20 north (west) 47 miles to the junction with SR 31 in Tiger. Continue north on SR 31 for two miles to the junction with Sullivan Lake Road also known as CR 9345. Turn right (east) on Sullivan Lake Road, cross the Pend Oreille River and proceed 8 miles to the Noisy Creek Campground. Follow signs for Noisy Creek Trail which begins in a day use area in the campground.

Good to Know: wildflowers, dog-friendly, alpine views, grizzly bear habitat, practice Leave No Trace Principles, Don’t be a surface pooper, Can the Tunes!

 If your sole intent is to summit Hall Mountain, then this hike is not for you. From July 1st to mid-August each year the Forest Service allows you to drive up the Johns Creek Road to a point high on the ridge that runs from Hall to Grassy Top. From this access, the hike to meadowy Hall Mountain is a mere 2.6 miles with only 1,050 feet of elevation gain. The rest of the year you can only access this stunning summit via two much longer routes. One is from Pass Creek Pass. The other, the Noisy Creek Trail travels along a refreshing mountain stream for a portion of its sojourn.

View of Crowell Ridge from Hall’s summit

It’s a long hike to the summit of Hall via this trail, and more than 4100 feet of elevation must be gained. But, the climb isn’t too demanding. There are only a few steep sections and they’re short. The prospect of being the only one on the summit is practically a sure bet. And that is primarily why the Forest Service keeps the short trail option closed for most of the year; to assure that very few people congregate on this mountain. Hall is the home to a large population of bighorn sheep-and its sprawling alpine meadows have also played host to wayward grizzlies from time to time. No need to worry too much about the grizzlies-they are extremely rare in northeastern Washington. You are however almost guaranteed to see other wild critters here though.

Noisy Creek Trail no. 588 leaves the campground and immediately begins climbing by way of long switchbacks. Through a birch and fir forest the trail steadily gains elevation. Pass some window views of Sullivan Lake along the way. At about 1.75 miles Noisy Creek must be forded  tough in the spring). Look for an old miner’s cabin being claimed by the forest off to the left.

The trail continues along Noisy Creek through a recent burn zone. Avoid this stretch during windy weather. The trail turns northward to head up Hall leaving the creek behind. Leave the fire zone upon reaching the ridge and come to a junction. Turn left and continue for another 1.9 miles climbing to the summit—an old lookout site. Almost the entire way is through meadows. The view down to Sullivan Lake and out to Crowell Ridge is breathtaking. Be sure to spend some time scanning your immediate surroundings too, there are lots of resident wildlife on this summit and adjacent ridges.

Hall Mountain is one of 125 featured hikes in my and Rich Landers’ Day Hiking Eastern Washington (Mountaineers Book). For more details on this hike and others (including many not found in any other guides), pick up a copy of this book—the most comprehensive and trusted guidebook on hiking in Eastern Washington—today!

 For information on where to stay and on other things to do near White Pass, check out Northwest TripFinder

 

 

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