Continuing on my reporting of my recent Eastern WA-northern Idaho road trip:
I headed over to Republic for a couple of days to do some hiking for my upcoming backpacking book. Trouble was there was too much snow on the Kettle Crest and I was forced to abort my intended hike-will need to return in a month or so. With a half a day of gorgeous weather still on my side though I decided to check out nearby Little Vulcan Peak, a prominent mountain that rises above the Kettle River and the community of Curlew. There are so many neat and "undiscovered" mountains in Northeastern WA, this one being one of the many. Of course Vulcan and Little Vulcan aren't really undiscovered-they received their names from early prospectors due to the iron ore (not Captain Spock) found on its slopes. But with the miners long gone, very few bipeds traverse this mountain these days. Today the area is managed primarily for grazing and wildlife management. There are some neat ledges along its summit and some spectacular views of the Kettle River Range from the lower open slopes. My advice if you want to explore this area-mountain bike! The roads are a little too roady for hiking-but perfect for mountain biking with nothing extreme or radical. Beam me back to Republic Scotty! Little Vulcan and other peaks are calling me!
(photo- Kettle Crest from Little Vulcan)