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Sweat Creek Basin Trail

Eastern Washington

A hike through a gorgeous old growth forest offering excellent views of nearby summits in the Okanogan Highlands. Continue reading


Eastern Washington -- Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range
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6.5 miles, one-way


Gain: 1600 ft.
Highest Point: 5180 ft.


3.50 out of 5

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  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Established campsites
  • Old growth
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


Sweat Creek Basin Trail 310-A is accessible just off the pavement of Highway 20 at the Sweat Creek Picnic Area. The site of a former campground, most of the amenities have since been removed, although a CXT toilet remains.

Begin the hike by proceeding past the CXT toilet. There is no signage to indicate the trail from the parking lot, but the trail is easily visible proceeding behind the bathrooms. After a short distance the trail passes through a hiker turnstile adjacent to a cattle fence. If choosing to use the fence gate instead of the turnstile (a tight fit for big backpacks!) be sure to close the gate after passing through, as this area does have an active grazing allotment in the summer.

Immediately after crossing the fence the trail reaches a junction with Clackamas Mountain Trail crossing Sweat Creek and heading west. Instead turn east to continue on the Sweat Creek Basin Trail. The trail climbs quickly and steadily, passing beneath the powerlines in the early portion of the hike. The views get better and better along the way as the trail meanders beneath large old growth Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and western larch. This trail is spectacular in the spring as the wildflowers begin to bloom, and also in the fall as the western larch turn yellow and drop their needles.

At approximately the 4.5 mile mark the trail comes to Hunter Spring, the first access to water. There is both a cistern and a cattle trough, along with a large campsite at this location. Exercise caution if choosing to camp here, as there are many standing dead Douglas fir trees in the immediate vicinity of the campsite.

From Hunter Spring there is an unmarked trail junction leading to Maple Mountain to the east, but the main Sweat Creek Basin Trail continues to ascend northwest out of the camp area. In approximately 1.5 miles the trail reaches Pass Spring, with another campsite at this location. At approximately the 6.5 mile mark Sweat Creek Basin intersects Clackamas Mountain Trail to the west, and West Fork Trail continuing north.

Sweat Creek Basin is also a portion of the Pacific Northwest Trail, which continues along West Fork Trail.

Hike by WTA Correspondents
Holly Weiler

Sweat Creek Basin Trail

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.6804, -118.9050 Open in Google Maps


Eastern Washington -- Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range

Sweat Creek Basin Trail (#310-A)

Colville National Forest, Tonasket Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking Eastern Washington by Craig Romano and Rich Landers, Mountaineers Books

USGS Wauconda Summit

Getting There

Sweat Creek Picnic Area and the beginning the Sweat Creek Basin Trail is located on the north side of Highway 20. It is 8.5 miles west of Republic, and 31 miles east of Tonasket. 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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Sweat Creek Basin Trail

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