AMBERCROMBIE MOUNTAIN 7,308 ft.
Ambercrombie and its neighbour, Sherlock Peak, are the two prominent high points between the Columbia River on the west and the Pend Oreille River on the east. Hikers who reach their summits enjoy panoramic views of both drainages.
Elevation gain: 2,408 ft.
Key elevations: High Point 7,308 ft.
Distance: 5½ miles round trip
Time: 4 hours
Season: June through September
Map: USGS Ambercrombie Mountain
From Canada. Cross border at the Waneta crossing south of Montrose and SE of Trail. Almost immediately turn left down the Boundary Road to Leadpoint and turn left (east) on Silver Creek Road #4720.
From Colville, WA. Head east on Third Ave, where a sign points to “Ione, Newport – Highway 20”. At the edge of town, turn left (north) at the airport and go 1½ miles to a Y, staying to the right toward Northport. Follow Northport Road 24 miles to another Y, take the right toward Deep Lake. Drive 7½ miles past Deep Lake to Leadpoint.
From Northport, WA. Take the Aladdin Road east to Spirit. Turn left towards Deep Lake and drive to Leadpoint.
0.0 miles. At Leadpoint, turn right onto Silver Creek Road #4720.
1.5 miles. At unmarked Y, stay to left……….
0.0 miles (the next intersection). Turn left onto Road #7078 where a sign says “Ambercrombie Mt. 12 miles”
4½ miles. Turn onto Road #300, a less developed road that may be muddy in spots. Drive 8 miles.
12½ miles. Parking and a good camping area. Water is available a few hundred feet back down the road.
Trail/Route: The trail begins as an old logging road for about 1 mile passing a campsite and several water sources in the first ½ mile. At 1 mile the trail dead-ends at Trail #119. Turn left (east) and ascend gradual trail with switchbacks through dry, open country. At the ridge top is a large rock cairn, the first of several that mark the rest of the faint trail north to the summit. The last ½ mile is fairly steep. A USGS survey marker is on the summit and the burned out remains of a lookout tower can still be found.
The peak offers exceptional views of the Columbia River Valley, the Salmo-Priest Wilderness, Canadian peaks, and on a clear day, the North Cascades.
This can be extended into a longer backpacking trip, leaving from the campsite on Silver Road at the end of Road #070. From here, hikers should go up either South Fork of Silver Creek Trail #123 or Sherlock Peak Trail #139 to the ridge top. From there they could bushwack northerly to the Abercrombie Trail #119 and return to their vehicle on Silver Creek. There is no defined Trail on the ridge and no water, save for possible snow banks in early July. But it is open and easy going.
ABERCROMBIE MT (7308’) & HOOKNOSE MT (7210’)
I know that the club has often scheduled trips to Abercrombie but am not sure that people are aware of access from Metaline Falls, Washington. Details follow.
From Nelson, drive south, crossing the border at Nelway. Pass through Metaline Falls, cross over the Pend O’Reille River, and drive to Metaline. Turn right or west onto Boundary Road (signed Gardner Caves; 88 km. from Nelson).
Re-set your odometer and drive 5.8 km. north on pavement to a meadow with a powerline crossing through it. Turn left or west onto an unsigned dirt road that immediately passes a dilapidated house. Re-set your odometer again. At km. 2.1, bear left at a major fork. Now follow this older 2WD high clearance road to about km. 11.8, where you will encounter a sign stating “Trail 520. Flume Creek Trail.” Driving time from Nelson is two hours.
Park in the ample space and begin hiking a very good, easily graded trail that leads right to the summit of Abercrombie. Near its end, the trail passes along the east side of the summit to join Trail #117 coming up the south ridge, the route I presume the KMC uses. I was able to reach the summit from the trailhead in 1 hr. 15 min. but was going pretty fast. It took almost as long to descend.
On Sunday, October 13th, Fred Thiessen, Doug Brown, Sandra McGuinness, their trusty dog Kumo (Japanese word for spider), and I strolled up Hooknose, (about 1.5 km. N. of Abercrombie) using the same approach. As Trail #520 makes its final approach to the col north of Abercrombie, leave the trail and head straight up to reach the ridge connecting Abercrombie and Hooknose. Follow this ridge north, descending several hundred feet to a forested col (some very moderate bush whacking) and ascend the easy, wide slopes on the south side of Hooknose. This lesser peak is almost on the border and provides excellent views of the Southern Columbias. 2 hrs. 30 min. up; 1 hr. 45 min. back to the truck. Total day, 5 hrs. Here are some useful websites for northern Washington trips. www.topozone.com allows you to download, free of charge, topo maps from throughout the USA. If you access www.fs.fed.us/r6/colville, you will find a wealth of information on hiking trails in Colville National Forest.