The Scenic Driving Trail To The Highland Loop – Pingston Creek

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The trail is set forth on the northeaster hills of Kettle Falls right along the Columbia River in Stevens County within northeastern Washington. The trail traverses on easy, well-maintained gravel roads and can only take half an hour to complete the driving trail of 10.8 miles. Maps for this trail are available at the Colville National Forest, West Half.

The highlights on this road trip are on the pastoral and bucolic country roads in the hills above the Columbia River. The scenery along this takes you to the pastures and wooded area of pine and aspen trees. You will also move past by some old farms and gold mines through some splendid views of the Colville Valley.

To get to the start of this semi-loop trail, take the eastern route on US 395 for 3.5 miles right on the traffic light on the town of Kettle Falls. Take a curve left going north onto the Highland Loop Road where this point marks the trail head. Alternately, you may take SR 25 going north for 3.6 miles from a junction with US 395. From there take an eastern direction at your right and go straight ahead onto the Pingston Creek Road.

From the trailhead, the Highland Loop Road makes a steep ascent from the US 395 onto the picturesque hills where views of the Colville Valley abound. The small switchback road then enters a wooded area prior to approaching the Pingston Creek Road from the highway for about 2.5 miles. At this point take the road going right and proceed to Pingston Creek Road through the Echo Mountain’s forest.

The Echo Mountain Summit climbs to 3,054 feet in elevation where the most impressive view of this trail is found. You may also take the hike to the summit as your side trip for this driving adventure. From here, the road then continues to make a gradual drop toward the Columbia River. The road then passes below a railroad support structure and after half a mile the trail approaches SR 25 which is the end of the driving trail. To the left of this endpoint is the Kettle Falls. Here there are several rock climbing routes for the outdoor enthusiast and rock climbing adventurers. In general the area is packed with activities for those who enjoy the outdoors including day hikes and backpacking. Also if you enjoy scenic photography do not forget to bring a camera as the falls are incredible to see.