“Climb to the sub-alpine top of Abercrombie Mountain & enjoy one of the best descents in Eastern WA.
— Kyle F
Abercrombie Mountain is a great backcountry ride in Northeast Washington State. Along with the Kettle Crest, it is some of the only sub-alpine riding in Eastern Washington. Weather can be a concern here, especially if you go all the way to the summit (elevation 7200'): you may start in warmer weather but by the time you summit, the temps are usually cooler and usually windy up top so stow a light jacket just in case.
Abercrombie Mountain Trail #117
provides access to the summit. This trail is rocky and steep but provides some of the best scenery of the ride, sub-alpine meadows, and big open views are common for the upper portion of the trail. If you are unable to ride the trail to the top, you should still walk up and experience the summit views and interesting scree field at the top. Bring the bike though as you may be able to ride down, even if you had to hike up.
The flowy North Fork Silver Creek Trail #119
is a blast to descend and will likely have you smiling all the way down. This will certainly become a classic, it's just a fun ride to experience.
Need to Know
This ride is also commonly done as a shuttle between the lower trailhead North Fork Silver Creek Trail #119
and upper trailhead Abercrombie Mountain Trail #117
. This will remove the dirt forest service road climb and approximately 2200' of elevation gain.
It could also be ridden as an out-and-back by climbing steeply up North Fork Silver Creek Trail #119
Depending on the time of year, the weather and temperatures can vary drastically on this ride. Check local forecasts and pack accordingly. There is nearly a 5,000 vertical feet elevation change from the bottom.
Driving directions: From US Hwy 395 in Colville, travel east on WA-20 (E 3rd Ave). In just over a mile, turn left on Aladdin Road and stay on Aladdin for 25.5 miles. Hang a right on Deep Lake Boundary Road and follow for 7.3 miles. Turn right on Silver Creek Road, at 1.9 miles, stay right to go to the lower trailhead. At 2.3 miles, stay left at fork, the lower trailhead is in just over a mile at the end of the road.
To ride the loop, ride back down on the road approximately 1.7 miles and turn right on Road #7078. The climb up begins here. It is approximately 7.5 more miles to the upper trailhead. Abercrombie Mountain Trail #117
The trail climbs up steeply on an old road bed. The forest is thick through here and the foliage has grown over the old road leaving a trail that is mostly singletrack up to a 'T' intersection with North Fork Silver Creek Trail #119
. Continue left up Abercrombie Mountain Trail #117
from here to reach the summit and sub-alpine zone for the loop. From here, the trail is smooth and flowy for a bit but it begins to get more rocky and rugged as you go up in elevation. You'll start to break out into nice sub-alpine meadows which provide nice open views of the surrounding country. The trail becomes extremely rocky and rough the last 3/4 mile to the summit, but if you enjoy rocky technical riding then dragging your bike to the top is a must.
The summit provides excellent views from its rocky top. On a clear day, you can see all the surrounding mountains of British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, and Washington. Drop that saddle and enjoy the loose and rocky technical riding off the summit back down to the junction with North Fork Silver Creek Trail #119
. From here, just continue straight forward and begin the fun, 5.9-mile descent back to the car. The trail has a couple small punchy hills on the way down but is almost entirely downhill.
While the area doesn't see much use, please keep in mind these are multi-use trails. Hikers and equestrians do use these trails, especially Abercrombie Mountain Trail #117
, so please be mindful of that and yield to other users and watch out for wildlife such as moose (especially in the fall when rutting season begins).
History & Background
Abercrombie Mountain is the second highest peak in Eastern Washington and is the 7th most prominent peak in the state. A lookout once stood on the summit but only the footings and what looks like an old box spring remain today. The summit is a wind scoured screen field and makes an interesting lunch stop. There is an ammo canister serving as a geocache with a sign in book.