Eastern Washington’s highest peak may not stand particularly tall by Cascade standards, considering it’s only slightly more than half the height of Mount Rainier. All the same, the views from the summit of Gypsy Peak make the trip well worth it, with the added benefit of climbing a comparatively small mountain in solitude. Due to its location in the heart of the Salmo–Priest Wilderness, visitors are most apt to share the trail with resident bighorn sheep or bears. After all, the east-side trailhead is named “Bear Pasture” for a reason.
Gypsy Peak is normally accessible from two different trailheads—offering the option of short or long approaches—the shorter approach, from the Bear Pasture trailhead, closes to hikers on August 15 to protect grizzly habitat. Hiking to Gypsy Peak in the fall requires the longer trek from Sullivan Mountain and the Crowell Ridge trailhead.
The route is mostly above tree line, with Canada just a stone’s throw to the north and Idaho’s Selkirk Range to the east. To the west, Abercrombie and Hooknose mountains are the closest prominent peaks. At approximately 5 miles from the trailhead on Crowell Ridge, watch for the faint climber’s trail leading to Gypsy Peak. You’ll need to dig out the map and compass to remain on track for the final approach. Consider adding in a 1-mile side trip to Watch Lake, the only place available for refilling water along the way.
WTA Pro Tip: This route is considered an advanced trail, requiring the use of map and compass and experience with off-trail travel. In addition, the road to the Crowell Ridge trailhead is rough and rocky; high-clearance vehicles are recommended. High elevations and exposure rob your body of precious liquids. Carry plenty of water and drink often.
- 16.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 1,750 feet
- Highest Point
- 7,309 feet
Hiking Gypsy Peak
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 48.9457, -117.1519 Open in Google Maps