This is a pleasant day hike designed for campers and picnickers visiting the chain of lakes along the Little Pend Oreille River. The trail is easy, with only a few switchbacks, and leads to a nice view of lakes Sherry, Gillette and Thomas. Brochures explain the features and history.
Elevation gain: 420 ft.
Key elevations: High point 3,600 ft.
Distance: 2½ miles round trip
Time: 1-2 hrs.
Season: late May through October
Map: USGS Lake Gilette
Drive: From Colville, WA, drive east on State Highway 20 about 24 miles and turn east following signs toward the Lake Gilette Recreation Area. Follow this road about 1 mile to Gillette campground. There is no parking at the TH if not camping, so park along the road. The TH is at the far end off the road that loops through the campground.
Trail/Route: The sign at the trailhead says Springboard Trail/Rufus Trail #148. Rufus trail is open to motorcycles, is an old dirt road, and separates in a few minutes. Hikers go to the left, cross a meadow and creek. At the Y, go left to follow the interpretive trail (follow the brochure) for 1 mile and a view from 3,600 feet of lakes Sherry, Gillette and Thomas.
The trail then loops back on a less traveled route returning to the fork at the beginning.