Frater Lake

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 What:  Mountain Biking. Hiking, Cross Country Skiing, Fishing. These trails are very varied in type throughout making it very much fun to go over especially with a mountain bike. July 18 we saw no other person on trail the whole day. On memorial day there were only a couple groups there. It took us 2 hours to go 4.3 miles on the Frater loop. The Leo Lake route is even less unless you take the Most Difficult route. It is intermediate in technicality for bikes. My wife was just learning clipless pedals and had a little trouble, but not bad at all. There were wild strawberries and blueberries along the way. Don't eat the smooth red berries as the taste is bad enough they might be poisonous. This is almost all great singletrack but the variety struck me as great. Picture, rocky, smooth, boggy, narrow bridges, grass trails, rough, gravel, rock formations that you ride through. Lots of people will really enjoy this ride, but be sure to print this page as finding the trails is not trivial. Bring your swimming suit.

 Where:  Drive north on Hwy 2 towards Newport, but before Newport take Hwy 211 north to Usk, then continue north on 20. At the microscopic town of Tiger (convenience store and museum), 20 turns southwest toward Colville. Stay on 20, and go 6 miles to the Frater Lake parking lot where there is a map and restrooms. (Coming from Colville, Frater Lake is 29 miles east on Hwy 20)

Trail #1 around Frater Lake: The trail is another matter. I would do this simple trail first to get your bearings before wandering off into the seemingly endless trails here. From parking lot pedal toward and past the restrooms as you will be circumnavigating the lake in a clockwise direction. Mainly the trail will be marked by blue diamonds which by the end of this trail will be your best friend when you can't see any trail. Stay on singletrack marked with blue diamonds until you come across a doubletrack trail at .4 miles that you do not want to follow as it goes immediately to the highway. Continuing on singletrack uphill now into an area of climbing which will bring you into the rock formations called Coyote rock, tricky and fun. Sweat and breathing. Soon after the huge rocks (approx. .5 mile) you will come to a Y. Stay on the right here on the ski trail not the rutted one. The going is slight climbing for a while in spongy forest floored doubletrack that is somewhat difficult. The route becomes boggy as in swampy. Descend on the doubletrack until at about .5 miles you will cross two newer/narrow wood bridges. Fly downhill but watch carefully for the trail switches off to the right and it is almost impossible to see. All you will see is a blue diamond that is off to the right more than usual. You might as well go straight until you see a gravel road ahead and then backtrack. Go towards the blue diamond and you will see a slight trail which will become more obvious. Follow the trail into the woods and through a usually impassable except for hikeabike bog for .6 miles to a marked with a sign Scudder Junction. Turn left onto Tiger Loop. Shortly you will approach a fence bounding Teepee Seed Orchard. Do not pedal up the fence line. Look further to the right to find a blue diamond on a tree. Move toward it. The trail will become more obvious. Follow blue diamonds. You will soon reach a Y intersection where both trails are signed. Take either the short loop version or the long long version depending on your condition at this point. Now you are riding in a forest with no trail, but it is extremely smooth! Watch for log bridges that are old and in disrepair. Either way you go it is fun here. Try them all. You rely totally on the blue diamonds at this point. I really liked this untrail. This will bring you to a barbed-wired cattle gate that you need to cross through. Turn right onto faint trail marked with, yes, you guessed it. Parallel the highway back to your car.

Trail #2 From Frater Lake to Leo Lake: Across the hwy 20 from the entrance is the beginning of the trail. Take all the right turns and stay with the blue diamonds until you reach Leo Lake. Once you reach the lake ride along the trail that goes along the lake until you see a sign that leads you away from the lake again uphill to your main goal of Osprey Junction. I love this junction idea. It is like a rest point where you get confirmation of your directions and know you are not as lost as you thought. From Osprey Junction you can take the MOST DIFFICULT trail on the right or the EASY trail on the right. View the pictures above to enhance these ideas, noticing that there is a large map at the trailhead parking lot to aid you also. In spring, be ready to ford many swampy streams, but remember you might find interesting things like I did when I saw hundreds of tiny frogs hopping all round me. Don't let fallen logs across your trail discourage you since the Rangers cannot keep up with all of these, I ran across about 4 incidents of this on the trail. 
Topological Map

 Cautions:  Be sure to print this page out and TAKE IT WITH YOU!!! It is too complex without it. Do not eat the shiny red berries.

 List:  Plenty of water. Email Us