Chewelah, Washington – When someone asks what’s in Chewelah, the answer is almost always 49 Degrees North a skier’s paradise that summits at 5,774 feet Chewelah Peak, gets on average more than 300 inches of snow a year and features a 1,851 foot vertical drop.
It’s great skiing alright with seven lifts transporting you up the mountain’s three basins. 49 Degrees also maintains 15.5 miles of Nordic ski trails. If you are the RV’ing type then there is ample RV parking and amenities such as an alpine shop and a the always popular Boomtown Bar & Grill. We are closing in on the end of the ski season here in the Inland Northwest, but 49 Degrees North is great at updating its mountain weather forecast and website with current conditions, so maybe you can still catch a little time on the slopes. Some COVID restrictions apply but there is plenty of skiing to be done. Some years, spring skiing lasts into June.
Chewelah is a small community with a lively main street and many thriving smaller stores. In June of 2019, Chewelah was named Washington’s second Creative District and though most of the 111 days of events usually featured here were cancelled because of COVID, it remains a charming little town.
In 1854, Thomas Brown – who’s considered the founder of Chewelah - claimed land here and a military post followed soon after. The Spokane Falls & Northern Railway made it to Chewelah in 1889 signaling the beginning of the town’s mining industry.
The name Chewelah is a native American word meaning, small striped snake and it became the name of the town in 1883. The Chewelah Band of Indians originally settled in the Chewelah-are in the early 1800s. Lead by Old Man Camille and Sheshetah many of the tribe adopted the Catholic faith when Father Jean Pierre DeSmet build a mission there in the 1840s.
Today, tired skiers flock to Sporty’s Bar and Grill (207 E Main Street) or grab a pint at Quartzite Brewery with has handcrafted beers like Iron Mountain Stout and Fool’s Prairie Kolsch.
Another community hub is the Flowery Trail Coffeehouse (4 Webster Avenue) which features legendary scones and homemade cinnamon rolls, plus of course coffee. Even if you are just passing through for destinations farther north, this is a great place to stop.
Chewelah’s motto is, Your Place For All Seasons – it would make a great spring road trip destination.