Tucked among the Selkirk Mountains in the extreme northeastern corner of Washington, the U-shaped 43,348 acre Salmo-Priest Wilderness extends its borders along those of Idaho and British Columbia. Its most prominent features are two very long ridges, generally running southwest to northeast, connected near their northern ends by a ridge crowned by 6,828-foot Salmo Mountain. The eastern ridge stands lower, more wooded, more rounded off and more accessible than the steep-sided, rocky-crested western ridge. Streams have cut deep drainages into both ridges. Water from the eastern side of the eastern ridge ends up in Idaho's Priest River. The remaining wilderness drains generally westerly via Sullivan Creek and the Salmo River into the Pend Oreille River.
Below the ridge tops of this well-watered Wilderness (at 50+ inches of precipitation annually) you'll find the largest growth of virgin forest left in eastern Washington: western red cedar, western hemlock, Douglas fir, grand fir, larch. The forest houses mule deer and white-tailed deer, elk, black bears, cougars, bobcats, badgers, pine martens, lynx, bighorn sheep, and moose. Though rarely sighted, threatened and endangered species including woodland caribou, grizzly bears and gray wolves also roam through this region. Winter snows may blanket the ground until early July at higher elevations.
The Shedroof Divide Trail, the longest path in the area at 21.8 miles, follows the extent of the eastern ridge through open timber and subalpine meadows. It traverses several miles of non-wilderness ridgeline into Idaho, where another 17,585 acres of roadless terrain has been proposed for addition to the Salmo-Priest. The 7.8-mile Crowell Ridge Trail traces the narrower western ridge, offering splendid overviews of trailless backcountry to the north. Several other feeder trails ascend drainages to interconnect the two primary ridge trails.
Washington state's best kept secret, 49° North Mountain Resort truly offers adventures for everyone. This traditional Northwest resort is blessed with wide open groomed runs, moguls, powder, and hundreds of acres of legendary tree skiing. The ski area is open from approximately November through April, snow conditions permitting. The area offers abundant recreational opportunites year-round. Check with the Resort for details.
- 49° North Mountain Resort Winter Map
- 49° North Mountain Resort Summer Map
- For more information about the area, click here.
- Winter conditions and snow levels are updated daily, click here for current conditions
The trail system, designed for cross-country skiing and mountain biking, are maintained by 49° North Mountain Resort. Most trails are located on Chewelah Mountain and connect with roads that link back to the ski lodge on Flowery Trail Road. During winter months a small fee is charged to ride chair #1 to access trails. Summer access to trails through existing roads.
Alerts & Warnings
- ORDER NO. 06-21-00-21-14 Public Use Restriction Stage 1
- ORDER NO. 06-21-00-21-02 Food Storage Order
- Trail update 7-20-2020
- ORDER NO. 06-00-00-20-03 Explosives and Exploding Targets Prohibition
- ORDER NO. 06-00-00-20-02 Alcohol and Drug Prohibitions
- Colville National Forest continues to restore access to closed areas