Stevens County Highpoint Trip Report
Date: July 21, 2005
Author: Ben Knorr
After arriving in Spokane and visiting Mt. Spokane, it looked like I had enough
time to hit up a second HP for the day. I followed Dean Molen's directions up
to the Flume Lake trailhead with relative ease.
I headed up US-2 from near Mt. Spokane, WA211, WA20, then WA31 into Metaline.
This access is on the East side of the mountain. My goal was to be in position
to drive over towards Gypsy Peak and camp for a hike the next day. Without a
detailed Washington Forest Service map, I thought I'd be hosed but, through a
miracle of luck and technology, my rental had GPS navigation built-in. FR 350
showed up on the moving map, so I promptly made the left turn and started
heading up. FR 350 is definitely a high clearance type of road and the brush is
starting to take over the sides of the roadway. It may soon become a bad-paint-
job road if it isn't maintained or used more often. My rental was scraped down
the sides, bottom, and top with a vengeance. In some places, I measured 4
inches of clearance between sides. The tracks are still good, though, with no
growth yet. At the trailhead, there is a nice new sign for Flume Lake/502.
There are signs warning about bear activity and a trail register.
From Metaline Falls, near milepost 13, turn left onto Boundary road (turn left if coming from the South).
Go about 3.6 miles to FR 350 and make a left. This junction is unsigned so
watch for it. There is an old run-down house near the junction as well.
About 1.5 miles up FR 350, veer left.
About 7.5 miles up FR 350, you arrive at the signed trailhead Flume Lake/502.
I started out around 4:45 PM through a relatively level trail.
The hike contours a hillside near the beginning and gains little elevation.
At the first switchback, there is a small campsite.
Higher up at the top of the switchbacks,
there are great-looking backpack sites within sight of the top.
The trail passes the peak's east side, then hits a junction with another trail.
This junction is signed on an old tree trunk. Up on top, I got the feeling that I
was walking on glass -- the talus made such a clinking sound when moved.
There is a plethora of cairns on top but, after a cursory search of each,
I found no register. In a first for me, I saw a reclined chair made only of rocks,
as well as a rock-only toilet. Bizarre.