The Stensgar Mountain Loop covers 95 scenic miles in Stevens County, WA
Getting there: There are several access points for the Stensgar Mountain Loop. The closest full service access is from Chewelah, WA. The route can also be accessed from Addy, Wa or Valley, WA, or any number of other turnouts and locations. The Waitts Lake area is a popular water sport, fishing and hiking area. Both Addy and Valley have limited services where fuel and food is available. Waitts Lake has seasonal operations that include two resorts that serve food and beverages.
Staging/Camping: Unloading areas in Addy, Valley, Chewelah or Waitts Lake are available. The Stevens County roads are all available for OHV access in this loop area. Several camping and RV facilities are available in Chewelah and Waitts Lake resorts. Dry camping is also popular in the Stensgar Mtn area on BLM and DNR lands, where you can also unload your OHV’s.[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]
Difficulty: The route is partially paved, partially improved gravel, and some unimproved primitive road. Difficulty ranges from easy to moderate. Depending on the time of year, the higher portions of the route on Stensgar Mtn. may be impassable due to snow. It can linger well into springtime, making the road impassable. Lower portions of the mountain route may be subject to washout due to rains.
Highlights: The eastern portions of the route are located in the bottom of the Colville Valley. The area is rural, with small farms located on the route. On the gravel portions of the route, as you pass by these residents, please slow to 10 mph to reduce dust. Courtesy wins. As you climb out of the valley into the mountains, road conditions change to improved gravel and to unimproved gravel primitive roads with little or no maintenance. Wildlife is abundant in the mountainous area. Deer are common, with some sightings of bear, moose, cougar, coyote, and in rare instances, wolf. On the Red Marble Road, you will pass through old magnesite quarries. This area was heavily mined during the 30’s through the early 60’s for magnesite, a steel making flux. An old tram line was used to transport ore to a magnesite reduction facility located south of Chewelah, along a rail siding. From the top of Stensgar Mtn, where a large radio relay facility is located, you will have a multitude of scenic views in every direction. You will have to relocate to gather them all in, however, exploring the area is part of the fun of this route.
Time and Distance: This is a long, 95 mile loop. You may want to break it up into phases over a couple of days to take it all in. Allow all day to cover the entire route.
Route Description: County Road signs are plentiful on most portions of the route. Once you start up the mountain on Red Marble Road, you will encounter side roads that may cause confusion. Stay on the main travelled roads. On the back side of the route, heading north from the top of Stensgar Mtn. stay on the main road, avoiding the right turns that head back to the east and south. Be on alert for logging operations in this area.
Other routes nearby: In this region of Stevens County, all the county roads are open to OHV travel, if you are properly attired and licensed. Feel free to explore, be courteous to the residents in dust reduction and low speed.
Services: Chewelah is the nearest town with full services. Valley has food and fuel. Waitts Lake resorts serve food and beverages, no fuel. The little town of Blue Creek also has fuel and groceries at the Blue Creek Mercantile, except on Sunday.[/read]