Mount Coeur d’Alene Hike
The Mount Coeur d’Alene Hike is an epic adventure near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, that demands a modest effort. While the views are limited, this well-maintained trail has the perfect combination of flora, fauna, and altitude—boasting a unique experience for hikers and bikers alike.
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Route Description for Mount Coeur d’Alene Hike
The Mount Coeur d’Alene Trail is one of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests’ most revered hikes, and rightfully so. Offering several outdoor pursuits, this ridgeline trail is most popular amongst mountain bikers—so expect to share the trail! While this route sees little traffic compared to the nearby, and easier Mineral Ridge Trail, midday tends to see an uptick in visitors. Those seeking tranquility are encouraged to head out in the early mornings before the “rush”. Be sure to pack plenty of water to stay well-hydrated and be mindful of wildlife as you hike. Make sure you or someone in your group knows the procedure in the unlikely event of an encounter. Note parking costs $8USD.
In addition to a diversity of fauna, the Mount Coeur d’Alene Hike is bound by a variety of flora—including an array of wildflowers, mushrooms, and evergreens. While most of the trail passes beneath the closed canopy, there are instances of exposure that boast wonderful views of Lake Coeur d’Alene and neighboring mountains. Easy to follow and well-maintained, this beautiful hike along the soft forest floor is hard to beat. While there are steep sections that will get your heart pumping, most of the route is manageable for intermediate hikers or adventurous families with older children. Don’t forget your camera; the scenery is quite photogenic.
Setting out from the Caribou Ridge Trailhead in the Beauty Creek Campground, your Mount Coeur d’Alene Hike begins with a creek crossing. While the stream sometimes dries in the summer heat, most of us will have to ford the creek or do some boulder hopping to the other side. Nevertheless, the Caribou Ridge Trail will persist, gradually climbing into the verdant woodlands. Note the first half of the hike is the toughest, demanding the navigation of steep, single-track switchbacks. As you ascend the vertiginous terrain, you will be rewarded with the scene of the lush, moss-cloaked pines interspersed with vibrant aspens and wildflowers.
Mind your footing on the uneven terrain and be vigilant of wildlife. The winding route will eventually give you a break at the intersection with Trail 358. From here, you will be granted obstructed views of the shimmering lake below and distant sights of the snow-capped Idaho Mountains. As you balance along Caribou Ridge, you will likely notice mushrooms adorning the forest floor, giving the woodlands an enchanting, whimsical feeling. After some hiking, you will ultimately reach a junction with Trail 227, signaling your adventure’s end. If you wish to do some bushwhacking, you can climb up to the true summit of Mount Coeur d’Alene, though the views are non-existent. To get back to the trailhead, simply retrace your steps back down the path to the trailhead.
Located in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of the Bitterroot Range, Mount Coeur d’Alene stands at an elevation of 1,353 m in Kootenai County, Idaho. Towering above the state’s second-largest lake—Lake Coeur d’Alene, this forested mountain boasts great adventure opportunities and wonderful scenery.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the Mount Coeur d’Alene Trail?
The Mount Coeur d’Alene Trail is an 17.7 km out-and-back hike.
Are dogs permitted on the Mount Coeur d’Alene Trail?
Yes, dogs are welcome on Mount Coeur d’Alene if they remain on-leash.
Insider Hints for Mount Coeur d’Alene Hike
- Be mindful of wildlife as you wander
- This trail is subject to blowdown, so you may have to navigate some felled trees
- Expect lots of mountain bikers!
- Bug repellent and sunscreen are recommended
- Share the trail!
- Pack plenty of water to stay hydrated
- The terrain is quite slippery after rainfall
- In the spring, expect to ford a creek
Getting to the Mount Coeur d’Alene Hike Trailhead
The Mount Coeur d’Alene Hike begins from the Caribou Ridge Trailhead off Beauty Creek Road.
Mount Coeur d’Alene Hike Elevation Graph
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Mount Coeur d’Alene Hike Reviews
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