Backpack - Kettle Crest South


Backpack - Kettle Crest South

An exploration of the Kettle Crest South, running north to south. We will tag two former lookout sites and explore this range in North Central Washington.

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 14.0 mi
  • Pace: 1.5-2 mph

Sherman Pass TH at 7am, to effect a car shuttle.  Leader will be car camping, either at the Sherman Pass campground or dispersed rec style the night prior.  More info provided via email.  

Please note the LONG drive time to the TH from Puget Sound (likely 6 hours +) and plan accordingly.  Carpooling possible, depending on Covid situation at the time.  

Come explore a new spot of the state and bring your sense of adventure.   Please do some research on this area before registering.  Please come prepared to be an active team member, as we will work to locate appropriate water sources and camp sites for our group, and have a good time too.  Be prepared to possibly carry water for a dry camp if necessary.  Leader has not visited this area previously and is excited by reports of wildflowers and wildlife. 

Day 1:  We will start Sunday with shuttling cars so that two are at the White Mtn TH, and at least one is at the Sherman Pass TH.  This will take a shy two hours, so we may choose as a group to do this the evening prior.  We will then shoulder packs, climbing to round Sherman Mountain, before descending to Snow Peak Cabin, our first sure water.  We may tank up here, or continue south along the slopes of Bald Mountain, locating a camp and possible spring near the junction with the Pacific NW trail.   Optional amble up to Bald Mountain if interest is there.  Distance 7 miles, with 1800' gain and 1200' loss. 

Day 2: After breakfast and breaking camp, we will continue south on the crest, traversing below Barnaby Buttes , pausing to hike to the top of this old lookout site.  From there, we next climb towards White Mountain, encountering another spring, before the turn off to climb to its summit.   White Mountain  is a former lookout site and site sacred to the Colville tribe.   From there, we begin the descent to our cars, and finish this section of the Kettle Crest.   Distance 7 miles, with 1600' gain and 2400' loss. 

Likely not back to cars until mid-late afternoon.  From there, we will proceed north and connect with the group prior to the Kettle North backpack.  

Make a full Kettle exploration by registering for David Bradley's Kettle North trip just following this, and work on your Gold Backpack badge all at the same time.  


Depending on whatever COVID guidance is in place in June, this trip is tentatively expected to require: 1) full COVID vax and booster,  2) a negative at-home test immediately before the trip, and 3) masks for when we are shuttling cars.  Details TBA as the date of the trip approaches.


This trip is open to anyone who has the Basic Backpacking Skills badge or the Basic Backpacking Course Student badge and has completed the course field trip.  If you meet either of those criteria you have permission to register, and there is no need to contact the leader.  Please do not request leader permission before 4/1.

Please use good judgment when self-assessing whether your fitness level is sufficient for this trip.  If your online Activity History does not show any recent activities with similar distance/ gain, the leader may contact you to inquire about your fitness level.

If you are an experienced backpacker who does not yet have the Basic Backpacking Skills badge, see Basic Backpacking Skills Equivalency.


Kettle Crest Trail & Sherman Peak

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear and a sense of adventure, as this will be new terrain for all of us.  Recommend bringing water storage bags, as water availability may be spotty.   Depending on springs and water sources, pump style filters may work better than squeeze bags or gravity filters.  We may share filter equipment as a group.  

Trip Reports