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Wapaloosie Mountain
Mountain/Rock

Wapaloosie Mountain

 
Wapaloosie Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.66250°N / 118.4641°W

Object Title: Wapaloosie Mountain

Elevation: 7018 ft / 2139 m

 

Page By: dluders

Created/Edited: Jun 8, 2005 / Jun 10, 2005

Object ID: 154199

Hits: 3965 

Page Score: 77.48%  - 8 Votes 

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Overview


The 9th-Highest NAMED peak in Eastern Washington, Wapaloosie Mountain has excellent views of the Kettle Range. Soon after leaving the Wapaloosie Trailhead, you cross two excellent bridges over the North Fork of Sherman Creek. The 2.8-mile trail switchbacks uphill through a lodgepole pine forest that, despite lots of downed timber, is clear of blowdowns. The forest transitions to Douglas Fir, then breaks out into a southeastern-facing slope of sagebrush and grasses.

The well-maintained trail (used by horses) has a moderate slope, and offers excellent views to the east, southeast, and south. King Mountain (6,634 feet), with its straight rows of trees, looms prominently to the east. Highway 20 is visible far below, in the shadow of nearby Sherman Peak (7,011 feet) and Snow Peak (7,103 feet).

Once at the ridgeline, you intersect the Kettle Crest Trail #13. The rounded summit of Wapaloosie Mountain is to the northeast, and you must hike off-trail through the open subalpine fir for about 10 minutes. Don’t hike northwards on Trail #13, since it descends down the west slope of Wapaloosie. After only 10 minutes more minutes of hiking, the summit offers modest views through gaps in the trees. There is a fire ring and flat places to pitch a tent. To the north, one can see the other two 7,000-footers in the Kettle Range -- Scar Mountain (7,046 feet) and fire-ravaged Copper Butte (7,140 feet). Far to the northeast, one can see the snow-covered peaks of the Nelson Range in British Columbia, Canada.

Getting There


Drive west from Colville, Washington past Kettle Falls on Highway 395, over the Columbia River. Turn left (west) on Highway 20, and go 18.4 miles to Albion Hill Road #2030. Turn right (north) on Road #2030 and drive on the good gravel road 3.3 miles, and the signed Wapaloosie Mountain Trailhead is on your left.

Red Tape


No permits are required.

When To Climb


The Wapaloosie Trail #15 is best hiked from mid-May through October. This wide horse trail could be traversed during the winter with snowshoes, but one would possibly lose the route on the open sagebrush slope.

Camping


There is a small campsite at the Wapaloosie Trailhead with picnic tables and vault toilet. The Inland Empire Backcountry Horsemen of Washington frequently use this area, and do an excellent job maintaining the trails in the Kettle Crest area. Other campsites are also available along Albion Hill Road at the Jungle Hill Trailhead (0.7 mile north of Highway 20) and the Copper Butte Trailhead (7.3 miles north of Hwy 20).

Mountain Conditions


For current conditions, contact the Three Rivers District Office of the Colville National Forest:

Three Rivers District, Kettle Falls Office
255 West 11th
Kettle Falls, WA 99141
509-738-7700

You can also fill out their web inquiry page at National Forest to send them a question.

The National Weather Service maintains an automated observation station at Sherman Pass (elevation 5,500 feet). From this National Weather Service link, click on the interactive map for the “X” for Sherman Pass (located between Observation Stations 51 and 47).


Miscellaneous Info


EASTERN WASHINGTON’S 50-HIGHEST PEAKS:

As listed in James P. Johnson's book entitled "50 Hikes for Eastern Washington's Highest Mountains", here are the "Top 50"-highest NAMED mountains of Eastern Washington. Thanks to Paul Klenke for researching the PROMINENCE of each mountain {indicated in brackets with a "P"}. There is some discrepancy between Mr. Johnson's published elevations and the USGS elevations researched by Mr. Klenke. Thus, the "Top 50" list below is under contention:

1. Gypsy Peak -- 7,309 ft. elevation {7,320+; 1720P}
2. Abercrombie Mountain -- 7,308 ft. {5168P}
3. Mount Bonaparte -- 7,257 ft. {3537P}
4. Hooknose Mountain -- 7,210 ft. {490P}
5. South Fork -- 7,152 ft. {located north of Gypsy Peak)
6. Copper Butte -- 7,140 ft. {4740P}
7. Snow Peak -- 7,103 ft. {1583P}
8. Scar Mountain -- 7,046 ft. {7,040+; 600P}
9. Wapaloosie Mountain -- 7,018 ft. {7,000+; 640P}
10. Sherman Peak -- 7,011 ft. {611P}
11. Bald Mountain -- 6,940 ft. {980P}
12. White Mountain -- 6,921 ft. {6,923}
13. Crowell Ridge -- 6,885 ft. {NE Peak only; a SW Peak comes in at 6,817 ft and actually has more prominence than the NE Peak [537P vs. 445P]}
14. Calispell Peak -- 6,855 ft. {3635P}
15. Salmo Mountain -- 6,828 ft. {6,880+}
16. Molybdenite Mountain -- 6,784 ft. {2344P}
17. Columbia Mountain -- 6,782 ft. {942P}
18. Moses Mountain -- 6,774 ft. {4134P}
19. Shedroof Mountain -- 6,764 ft. {844P}
20. Helmer Mountain -- 6,734 ft. {1214P}
21. Midnight Mountain -- 6,660 ft. {6,640+ but 6,660 is consistent with USGS halfway-point convention}
22. King Mountain -- 6,634 ft. {1120P}
23. Mankato Mountain -- 6,590 ft. {a mere 190P}
24. Thunder Mountain -- 6,560 ft. {1000P}
25. Edds Mountain -- 6,550 ft. {470P}
26. Jungle Hill -- 6,544 ft. {6,520+ on maps and with only 320P; but belongs on your list}
27. Barnaby Buttes -- 6,534 ft. {454P}
28. Lambert Mountain -- 6,525 ft. {6,520+ on maps, but only 80P!)
29. Sullivan Mountain -- 6,483 ft. {323P}
30. Mount Leona -- 6,474 ft. {named hump is 6,440+ but a hump 0.6 miles to the NW is 6,646; 806P on 6646 point}
31. Roundtop Mountain -- 6,466 ft. {on the map it's actually two words: Round Top Mountain; 466P}
32. Profanity Peak -- 6,423 ft. {a sturdy 1343P}
33. Grizzly Mountain -- 6,397 ft. {1757P!}
34. Oregon Butte -- 6,387 ft. {2407P}
35. Leola Peak -- 6,380 ft. {460P}
36. Diamond Peak -- 6,379 ft. {notably, there is a 6,360+ contour 0.5 miles WNW of 6379 point that "could" be highpoint; 779P}
37. Mount Misery -- 6,366 ft. {526P}
38. Sherlock Peak -- 6,365 ft. {885P}
39. Hall Mountain -- 6,323 ft. {763P}
40. West Butte -- 6,292 ft. {named on map but only 332P, but counts on your list nonetheless}
41. Prouty Peak -- 6,263 ft. {6320+, 760P; ridge also shown as Green Mountain on the map}
42. Grassy Top Mountain -- 6,253 ft. {a mere 53P with Pk 6482 [1042P] 2 miles to the north holding its prominence; Pk 6482 should appear on this list and/or be officially named yet it is sadly ignored}
43. Table Rock -- 6,250 ft. {1110P}
44. U S Mountain -- 6,232 ft. {6,200+, 800P}
45. Linton Mountain -- 6,215 ft. {535P}
46. Mack Mountain -- 6,196 ft. {476P}
47. Taylor Ridge -- 6,190 ft. {1270P}
48. North Baldy Mountain -- 6,173 ft. {called simply North Baldy, no "Mountain" suffix; 2173P}
49. Seventeenmile Mountain -- 6,161 ft. {1321P}
50. Togo Mountain -- 6,161 ft. {1521P}

Below are Mr. Klenke's comments to me about Mr. Johnson's "Top 50" list above. Please add your comments to this section so that we can all have an accurate Top 50 list:

1. Gypsy Peak's height is actually 7,320+ ft because there is a contour of that elevation at the top (not visible on Topozone). It is apparently readily visible and obvious on the hardcopy 7.5" USGS map, though I have not seen this map in person. But John Roper is a reputable source. The BM (assumed to be the 7309 triangulation point) is a little below the summit anyway, but not 11+ feet lower (at least that's my recollection).

2. It appears your list only takes into account named summits, not any peak of significance/prominence. Pk 7177 south of Gypsy has 417P and is really its own summit though unnamed. This would rank it 5th in NE Washington.

3. My list with the >399P summits included appears in this thread, which you are aware of. Mine also includes Pk 6680+ (480P) on Helmer Mountain Quad SE of Gypsy and Pk 6631 (471P) just down the ridge from Abercrombie. There are undoubtedly other unnamed >399P peaks lower than 6,600 ft (lower than #25 on my list) that would supercede some of the others on your list. An example would be Pk 6482 just north of lower but named Grassy Top Mountain.

4. The correct (most current) elevations for the peaks on your list can often be found through Howbert's state quad map. Others I sussed on my own. I made some notes in your list above. Any one of these can be verified with Topozone. This is for 7.5" quadrangles, the scale which supercedes all other scales. The values you've listed are often based on older 15-minute maps and/or are based on USGS database data, which itself is often in error (and they will readily acknowledge this if you point out an inconsistency to them).

5. I'm unclear on just where your "#5 South Fork 7,152 ft" is located. Where is it? [It's located north of Gypsy Peak in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness]. Is this the same as my Pk 7177? [No]. In light of this, perhaps it would be best to say Wapaloosie is the 9th-highest named summit in Eastern Washington. It would be 10th-highest if Pk 7177 is considered and it is not the same peak as "South Fork."

External Links

Additions and Corrections

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Viewing: 1-4 of 4    
dludersUntitled Comment

dluders

Hasn't voted

I am snail-mailing Mr. Klenke's observations to Mr. Johnson here in Spokane, for comment and possible resolution.
Posted Jun 11, 2005 11:21 am
dludersUntitled Comment

dluders

Hasn't voted

Here's what James P. Johnson, author of the 50 Hikes for Eastern Washington's Highest Mountains, says on pages 9-10 of his book:





"DETERMINING THE HIGHEST 50 MOUNTAINS"





"Before a list of the highest peaks on this side of the state could be compiled, the boundaries of Eastern Washington first had to be defined. Looking at almost any map of Washington, there's an obvious natural division that cuts the state into two roughly equal halves and is also a low point from which the land rises going both east and west. This dividing line is the Columbia River valley, from its southernmost point where it forms the border with Oregon, upstream to its confluence with the Okanagan River, and northward along that river to the Canadian border. Thus the entire Cascade Range is considered to be in the western half of the state, and none of its peaks are included on the list.





"Because there exists no official list of the highest peaks in Eastern Washington, a thorough search of USGS topographic maps was undertaken. But the more difficult task was establishing the criteria in deciding what constitutes a mountain.





"As many hikers and climbers know, there's a big gray area when it comes to applying the term mountain. Land masses that rise far above the surrounding landscape standing alone, are easy to pick out and call a mountain. Often is the case, however, when a long, high ridge topped by several peaks makes this determination more difficult. Is every pinnacle or high point a mountain, even if some are separated by only a couple hundred feet? Or is the entire ridge one mountain, even if there are plunging valleys between peaks and the ridge is many miles long?





"A variety of standards have been devised to solve these questions, all of which have their shortcomings, and none of which have been adopted universally.





"One standard states there must be a certain mileage between peaks. Two peaks inside the mileage standard are considered one peak. However, the shortcoming with this method, besides being arbitrary, is that if all peaks along a ridge are in close proximity, each negates the neighboring peak, leaving only the highest point of the ridge considered a mountain.





"Another standard states that a peak must rise a certain distance above the ridge of which it is a part. In this case, only distinct and prominent peaks along a ridge are recognized. With this standard however, there could be a very high-elevation peak, even higher than any stand-alone mountain, but if it doesn't rise far enough above the ridge, it's not considered a mountain.





"A third standard, which seems to be the best method to deal with this problem, involves the elevation difference between peaks and saddles. If two peaks are connected by a ridge, the low point between the two (the saddle) must have a certain elevation difference between it and the lower-elevation peak. If this standard is met, the two peaks are separate and distinct. If it is not met, then the lower-elevation peak is considered part of the higher one.





"The problem with this method is determining how much of an elevation difference must exist. Should it be 200 feet? 500 feet? A thousand or more? Any amount seems arbitrary and would surely be a source of disagreement.





"After careful consideration of these standards, it was decided a system that already exists suffices quite nicely -- place-names established by the U.S. Geological Survey. Therefore, any named point, be it called a mountain, ridge, or hill, is on the list if it is one of the highest 50 places."


Posted Jun 10, 2005 9:19 am
KlenkeUntitled Comment

Klenke

Hasn't voted

Now that you've told me where this supposed "South Fork (7,152 ft)" is (click here), I am surprised Mr. Johnson included it as a named summit. The labeling of South Fork on the map is for the geodetic marker (the benchmark that is represented by the triangle with dot at center, a triangulation point) and IS NOT the name of the peak at that location. It says "South Fork" because that is most likely what is stamped on the BM there. It is no doubt a reference to the South Fork Salmo River north of that point. Often, what is stamped on a BM is a reference to a far off placename or some other metaphysical entity/place. There are many such BMs in the U.S. with what's stamped on them labeled on the map.
Posted Jun 10, 2005 5:14 pm
dludersUntitled Comment

dluders

Hasn't voted

I am snail-mailing Mr. Klenke's observations to Mr. Johnson here in Spokane, for comment and possible resolution.
Posted Jun 11, 2005 11:21 am

Viewing: 1-4 of 4    

Images

Summit view to the north of...View of two snow-capped 7,000...Middle portion of the trail...King Mountain (6,634 feet) is...At the intersection of...Five of Eastern Washington\'s...The view south from the...
Another view of summit...Topo map of Wapaloosie...The rounded summit of...The lower part of the...Wapaloosie Trailhead parking...Typical campsite at...Nice campsite with fire ring...