Hall Mountain via Noisy Creek –steep climb to stunning views and wildflowers

 

Quick Facts:

Location: Selkirk Mountains

Land Agency: Colville National Forest

Round Trip: 14.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 4,000 feet

Contact: Sullivan Lake Ranger District, Colville National Forest

Recommended Guidebook: Day Hiking Eastern Washington by Craig Romano and Rich Landers (Mountaineers Books)

Notes: trail passes through a recent fire zone—be aware of hazards such as falling snags. Grizzly country—be bear aware.

Access: From Newport, Washington follow SR 20 north 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 (CR 9345) just south of Ione. Turn right and head east on Sullivan Lake Road for 8 miles to the Noisy Creek Campground. Locate Noisy Creek Trail in day use area in the campground.

Good to Know: historic, exceptional views, exceptional wildflowers, practice Leave No Trace principles, grizzly and bighorn sheep habitat

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 Hall Mountain is a mere 2.5 miles with only 1,000 feet of elevation gain. The rest of the year you can only access this stunning summit via two much longer routes one being the Noisy Creek Trail.

The Forest Service keeps the short trail option closed for most of the year to assure that the number of hikers doesn’t becometoo large to interfere with the area’s sensitive bighorn sheep population. The mountain’s sprawling alpine meadows have also played host to wayward grizzlies from time to time. No need to worry too much about the grizzlies tough, they are rare here in northeastern Washington.

It’s a long hike to the summit of Hall via this trail-and 4,000 feet of elevation must be gained. The climb isn’t too demanding. But much of the way goes through recently burned forest where shade is at a premium. Leave early in the morning or wait until autumn. Follow the trail from the campground and immediately begin climbing by way of long switchbacks. Through a birch and fir forest the trail steadily gains elevation. Catch some views overlooking Sullivan Lake. The grade eases and the way soon drops into a ravine where Noisy Creek must be forded. (can be tough in the spring).

Then follow Noisy Creek passing small cascades. At around 3.2 miles, the trail turns northward to head up Hall leaving the creek behind. This is the last available water and a good place to turn around if you’re not intent on summiting. Otherwise proceed to the ridge and a junction. Turn left and continue for another 1.8 miles to the summit. Almost the entire way is through meadows. The views down to Sullivan Lake and out to Crowell Ridge are breathtaking. Be sure to spend some time scanning your immediate surroundings too-there’s 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 in Northeastern Washington, check out Northwest TripFinder

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