Author: Don Otis
Schweitzer Mountain resort is a good place to start a hike in the southern Selkirks. Park at the lot near the village, pass the tennis courts and look for the TH just to the left of the quad (at about 4600′). Follow the well established trail that zigzags past a stream and up the slopes before topping out at 6200′ and the top of the quad. The views here are as good as any in the region. The round trip is about 4 miles but if the lift is running, hop a ride back down and spare your knees. The gain is 1600′. You can follow the ridge to the right (north) and make for a longer hike. A higher peak will soon come into view – 6682′ Blue Mountain. Follow the service road to the last lift and then turn slightly left or west directly toward Blue Mountain. It descends 360′. You will climb 600′ to reach the top of Blue but the trip is worth the view. The summer of 2015 has been one characterized by fires and as the photos indicate, they are still burning in late August. Total gain: 2700′, mileage 8 (subtract 2 if you ride the lift down).