A rough and rocky road to Calispell Peak in WA
Calispell Peak is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 2.090m (6,856ft) above the sea level, located in Stevens County, in northeastern Washington State, USA. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of Washington.
The unmaintained road to the summit is very rough, rugged and rocky. It’s called NF-629 (Calispell Peak Road). Expect a trail pretty steep. Only 4×4 high-clearance vehicles are recommended along the standard road approaches, and many summiters might wish to have four-wheel drive capabilities available. The crawling is slow and very rough at places. Several communications facilities and radio towers are built at the summit. Those communications facilities are still operational and in use. The summit offers amazing 360 degree views above the treeline in an alpine meadow.
The peak is famous for the wind that sometimes whips across the top. The area contains a beryllium mine. Road conditions will vary depending on the season and recent rains and road grading. But, plan for road that is slow going, rocky and potentially rutted. The peak was named in honor of the Kalispel Indians, a sub-tribe of the Pend Oreille Indians who once lived in the region many years ago.
The road to the summit is pretty steep. Starting from Highway 2389 (Tacoma Creek Road), the ascent is 14.16km (8.8 miles) long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.282 meters. The average gradient is 9.05%, hitting a 12.5% through some of the ramps. It is usually impassable from October to June (weather permitting). When snow is present the road is a good option for snowshoeing or skiing.
Pic&video: Merrill Ott