The Faces Trail

The Faces (North Face of Old Dominion Mountain)

Highlights: Gaining 1600’ elevation in one mile makes The Faces trail a challenging 30% climb, rewarded by “huge-open-

air” views from the 4000’ “perch” up on The Faces, 1/2 the way up the 5773 foot high Old Dominion Mountain.

Location: 10 road miles northeast of Colville, Washington

Type of trail: Up and back dayhike with an optional one night backpack/camp, or continue from The Faces to the summit.

Total distance: 1 mile one-way to The Faces; 2 additional, optional miles if continuing to the Old Dominion Mountain summit.

Elevation gain: 1600’, 3300’ if continuing to the Old Dominion summit.

Difficulty: _____ Easy                                _____ Moderate                                                  __X__ Difficult

Trailhead directions:

-From Colville Washington, at the Junction of US 395 and SR 20 traffic light, go east on SR 20 ( 3rd Ave) for 1.1 mile.

-Turn left (north) onto Aladdin Road for 7.3 miles.

-Turn right (east) onto South Fork Mill Creek Road for 1.4 miles.

Park at the second small stream canyon.  Bushwhack up a very steep, open hillside above the road.  Follow ribbons to the trail about 10 minutes up.  Turn right and follow the trail to the rocky, open area.  Only occasional cairns show the way from here to the top of the rocky face where there is a nice overlook of the canyon and a jar under a rock ledge to sign.  Sorry that this will be hard to find and follow without some trial and error.  I plan to improve it to make it easier to follow.  It will remain steep and hard.

Trailhead   Elevation: 2500’

Trail description: This hike is very steep in places and not suitable for bikes or horses. Most years it is clear of snow by early April. The hike takes about an hour and is about a mile one-way with 1600’ elevation gain making it an overall steep 30% grade.

The first half of the trail goes through aspen, fir and larch forest. You pass by several nice camp spots at .3 mile (15 minutes) from the trailhead, just before you cross a small year-around creek. This is the last water source. Notice the bear paw scars imbedded in the aspen tree bark! Another 15 minutes of climbing (.7 mile from the trailhead, 3320’) takes you up a rocky, open, steep, north-facing slope where the trail turns into a moss covered rock route marked only with cairns. Follow the cairns to a big rock ledge overlooking a deep gorge. This is a good place to take a lunch break and enjoy the huge open-air views that spread out below to the north. You are now on the upper edge of The Faces.

Camp spot GPS coordinates: N48 36.984 W117 45.432 Elevation 3000’

The Faces GPS coordinates: N48 36.474 W117 45.240 Elevation 4100’

This is a good turn around place. Or you can continue on up another two hours (2 miles with a 16% grade, 1700’ elevation gain,) to the summit of Old Dominion Mountain. This involves following a faint trail and bushwhacking. But if you stay on the ridge and head south, you will cross the road to the old lookout site near the top. The lookout is long gone, but some traces remain. There is a great view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Consider pre-arranging a ride out from here.

The last part of this hike above The Faces is for experienced hikers, in good physical condition, with good map and compass navigational skills.


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