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Old Stage Trail No. 1

Eastern Washington > Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range
48.7136, -118.5302 Map & Directions
5.6 miles, one-way
Elevation Gain
2,100 feet
Highest Point
6,050 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Looking northwest along Old Stage No. 1. Photo by Holly Weiler. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Ridges/passes
  • Wildlife
  • Established campsites
  • Mountain views
  • Good for kids
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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Currently a nonmotorized recreation trail, historically this trail was the original stagecoach route and first State Highway in Washington, connecting the town of Marcus on the Columbia River to Marblemount in the North Cascades over the Kettle Crest. Continue reading

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Hiking Old Stage Trail No. 1

Currently a nonmotorized recreation trail, historically this was the main stagecoach route and first State Highway in Washington, connecting the town of Marcus on the Columbia River to Marblemount in the North Cascades. Enacted by the state legislature in 1892, this first cross-state highway was short-lived. It was abandoned as a viable commerce route in 1898, when an easier alternative was found over Sherman Pass (Highway 20), and now only this small segment of the original stagecoach line remains.

A hike here quickly reveals just how treacherous stagecoach travel must have been. Despite being an old road grade, portions of the route are both steep and rocky. The route offers excellent views toward the west when the skies are clear. This area has been impacted by several wildfires over the years, resulting in many standing snags along the trail and a dense young lodgepole forest returning. Wildflowers line the trail in the summer, and the surrounding hillsides turn golden in fall as the larch and aspen turn color.

The main access point for Old Stage No. 1 is at the Lambert Creek Trailhead on the west side of the Kettle Crest. There is a small free primitive campsite near the trailhead, along with an outhouse and picnic tables. The Lambert Creek Trailhead is shared access with both Old Stage No. 1 and also the Midnight Mountain Trail, creating the option of turning this hike into a loop of approximately 10 miles. From the trailhead, cross Lambert Creek and walk a short distance to where the trail splits. Old Stage No. 1 turns south and immediately crosses a bridge. 

The trail contours south for approximately 1.5 miles until reaching an unmarked junction. Turn east and begin to climb toward the Kettle Crest National Recreation Trail. The total trail length is 5.6 miles.

A small campsite is located at the junction with the Kettle Crest Trail, with water available approximately 0.25 miles north at a stock tank. At this junction, the Kettle Crest runs both north, connecting to Boulder Creek Road, and south, crossing Highway 20 and eventually terminating at the White Mountain Trailhead. Old Stage No. 75 continues to the east. These connecting trails provide opportunities for multiple days of exploration in the area, with either loop or out and back possibilities.  

Hike Description Written by
Holly Weiler, WTA Correspondent

Old Stage Trail No. 1

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.7136, -118.5302 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee


WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Republic take Highway 21 north 12 miles to Lambert Creek Road. Continue up Lambert Creek Road 6.5 miles to Lambert Creek Horse Camp and the Old Stage Trailhead.

More Hike Details


Eastern Washington > Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range

Colville National Forest, Republic Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest, Rich Landers, Mountaineers Books

Day Hiking Eastern Washington, Craig Romano and Rich Landers, Mountaineers Books

Colville National Forest Map

USGS Cooke Mountain

USGS Copper Butte

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Old Stage Trail No. 1

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