Great Escapes: Places to plan on visiting after the pandemic is over
By Tim Clinton
At 5,575 feet in elevation, it ranks as the highest year-round maintained pass in the state of Washington.
Yet Sherman Pass, tucked away in the Okanagan Mountains in the Northeast corner of Washington, is one of the least known and least travelled.
But you can’t say it isn’t pretty, and it has a picnic area, campground and viewpoint near the top from which to enjoy it.
From Sherman Overlook at the 5,220-foot mark you can look up and to the south at 6,998-foot Sherman Peak, which is tree covered and often snow covered before other places in the state get a taste of it.
At least that’s the way it was when viewed on a September trip over the pass in 2017.
Fresh snow clung to the side of the road at the top of the pass and blanketed the slopes above it.
To the north, on the other hand, you could see the dry grass and trees typical of the mountains of Eastern Washington.
You can also look down the valley and the road that winds toward the distant town of Republic.
Sherman Pass can be found on Highway 20, which runs east and west between Kettle Falls and Republic. It is also known as the Sherman Pass Scenic Byway and traverses the Colville National Forest, with views of rivers and trees as you wind along.
On the way up on the Kettle Falls or eastern side of the pass is a snow park, offering snow shoeing and cross country skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer and early fall.
The campground at the top near the overlook offers seven camp sites with a $6 overnight fee. It has water, but only pit toilets. It was closed last summer because of hazardous trees from bug kills. But you can call ahead at (509) 738-7700 for updates.
On the way up or down the pass watch out for wildlife, including possibly the legendary sasquatch.
Something that looks like one of the giant furry ape-like beasts that also go by the name of bigfoot was spotted standing next to a tree by a Washington State Department of Transportation camera located on Sherman Pass in January of 2020.
It is hard to see on the footage shown online by KREM-TV in Spokane, and it is not known if it is real or faked. A still shot from the video and an article about it appears when you Google Sherman Pass on the internet, along with a video of another possible sighting by a WSDOT camera on a wildlife crossing above I-90 on Snoqualmie Pass the same weekend.