GRASSY TOP MOUNTAIN (6,253 ft.)
This is an excellent ridge-running walk for good views of the Idaho Selkirks, the Priest Lake area and portions of the Salmo-Priest Wilderness.
Elevation gain: 1,000 ft.
Key elevations: High point: 6,375 ft.
Distance: 7½ miles round trip
Time: 4-5 hrs. or overnight.
Season: late June through September
Map: USGS Pass Creek
Drive: From Salmo, drive south on Hwy 3/6 to the border crossing at Nelway, BC (open from 8am to midnight). Drive south 16.5km (10.2m) and turn left (east) onto paved Sullivan Lake Road, signed PEND OREILLE COUNTRY ROAD 9345. It is just north of the town of Metaline Falls.
If you’re coming from the south, this turn is 3.3kms (2mi) from the middle of the Pend Oreille River bridge.
0.0. Go east on Sullivan Lake Road
5.2km. Pass Mill Pond historic site
7km. Go straight on Sullivan Creek Road. Road #2212 forks left.
7.6km. Go left on Road #22 (also numbered #2220) signed for Salmo Mt
21miles and East Sullivan Campground .25mi.
8.3km. Go straight through the campground. Pavement ends.
14.5km. For Shedwell Divide: stay on main road. For Crowell Ridge: turn left
(NW) onto Road #250.
17.3km. Cross a bridge and reach a 3-way junction.
For Grassy Top Mountain and S Shedroof Divide TH: Reset odometer at 0.0 and go far right (SE) on Road #22 for 12.55km. For N Shedroof Divide TH: go far left (NE) on Road #2220 toward Salmo Mtn.
0.0. Start SE on Road #22 along Sullivan Creek, toward Pass Creek Pass
3.7km. Go straight on the main road where a spur forks left
12.2km. TH for Grassy Top Mt (Trail #503) on the right at 1646m (5400’) almost at Pass Creek Pass, 7m before (west of) the sign. Parking is limited to only a few vehicles along the road. (Note: .5km to the north is the trailhead for Shedroof Divide Trail #512)
Trail/Route: Grassy Top Trail #503 descends sharply to cross the head of Pass Creek before climbing a well-kept trail trough heavy timber and below a towering granite ledge. A mile later the trail levels off through a thinning forest and acres of beargrass. Watch for an opening to the east of the trail for a good lunch spot/campsite overlooking the North Fork of the Granite Creek. Priest Lake and the Selkirk Crest can be seen in the distance.
The trail continues gently on, wandering in and out of the timber along a ridge before connecting with Trail #533, that heads west to Hall Mountain. Go left (south) on Trail #503. About 3 miles from the trailhead, there’s a choice of either following the trail the last ½ mile to Grassy Top, elevation 6,253 ft., or climbing a steep, unmarked trail up an open slope to a grand viewpoint at 6,375 ft.