White Pine National Recreation Trail
Immerse yourself in a lush forest setting along the White Pine National Recreation Trail. This beautiful circuit hike progresses through a grove of old-growth pines intersected with meandering creeks and abundant with wildlife. Exhibiting a diversity of flora and fauna, this opulent woodland trek would make an excellent addition to your hiking itinerary.
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Route Description for White Pine National Recreation Trail
Boasting an enchanting ambiance, the White Pine National Recreation Trail is one of our favorite forested walks in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. This beautiful adventure is relatively undemanding and easily accessible from the highway; thus, it sees a steady stream of visitors. While the summer months are undoubtedly the busiest season, this area is open year-round. Those exploring in the off-season will likely need snowshoes to navigate the snow-cloaked terrain. Note that wildlife is abundant in this area, so be vigilant and make sure at least one person in your party knows what to do in the case of an encounter.
What the White Pine National Recreation Trail lacks in views, it makes up for with incredible scenery. Sometimes all you need is a relaxing, meandering woodland adventure, and this path provides just that. Reconnect with nature as you disconnect from the real world. In addition to the beautiful old-growth pines that close the canopy, the grove is abundant with lush undergrowth, wildflowers, and wild mushrooms that are reminiscent of a fairy tale. While this enchanting adventure demands some steep ascents, the whimsical landscape is worthy of the sweat. We love this circuit, and we think you will too. Don’t forget to bring your camera; the setting is postcard perfect!
Your journey along the White Pine National Recreation Trail begins from the trailhead in the Giant White Pine Campground. Here, take Trail #228, signed Beason Meadow Trail, climbing above the campground into the forestlands. Arduously ascending through the wooded corridor, the path will switch back through pines and hemlocks before delivering you to an intersection. Here, you can either loop back to the trailhead or continue into the wilderness, descending towards E Fork Meadow Creek.
At the subsequent junction, veer left, and you will begin your stroll through the most picturesque region of the hike. Running parallel to the creek adorned with beaver dams, you will be lulled into a state of relaxation by the sounds of the gurgling waters. Marvel at the beauty of the towering pines bound by wildflowers and opulent undergrowth. When you ultimately reach another intersection, swing left, and you will navigate another vertiginous section of terrain up the ridge. Unfortunately, there are no views from here, but the tree canopy is lovely.
Now traveling west past the next few junctions, the path will plunge down towards Mannering Creek. Beyond this point, the path will redirect you southward, running parallel to ID-6. Unfortunately, this section of the hike will likely be polluted by the sounds of traffic, but the anticipation of the trail’s end will negate the unpleasantness. Soon you will roam through the trunk of the namesake tree before delivering you back to the campground and trailhead.
Giant White Pine
The White Pine National Recreational Trail explores a swathe of wilderness occupied by old-growth pines, including the Giant White Pine. Felled in 1999 due to disease, the 600-year-old tree lies across the forest floor. Nearly 61 m in length, the White Pine National Recreation Trail leads right through the trunk, and the nearby campground was named in its honor.
Insider Hints for White Pine National Recreation Trail
- Bring your camera, the scenery is picture-perfect
- Stay in the nearby campground and be the first one on the trail in the morning
- Be mindful of wildlife as you hike
- The boardwalks over the creek are slippery when wet
- Use the trail GPS to seamlessly navigate the circuit
Getting to the White Pine National Recreation Trail Trailhead
The White Pine National Recreation Trail departs from the trailhead in the Giant White Pine Campground off ID-6.
White Pine National Recreation Trail Elevation Graph
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White Pine National Recreation Trail Reviews
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