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Trail of the Hiawatha

Easy
 4.3 (3)

Ten train tunnels (one is 1.66 miles long) and seven very tall trestles. A light and fee are required.


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Map Key

15.1

Miles

24.3

KM

91%

Runnable

5,026' 1,532 m

High

3,172' 967 m

Low

1,269' 387 m

Up

2,260' 689 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (3°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Unknown

Parts of the trail and some tunnel access are closed in winter. Memorial weekend is the official opening date each year. You must have a light and a ticket to enter either end of the trail. (It seems to be a free-for-all if you park anywhere other than the two trailheads).

Description

The Hiawatha Bike and Hike Trail is public property. It is on U. S. National Forest land administered by the St. Joe Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Like a ski mountain, it is operated by Lookout Pass Ski Area under a special use permit. There are "ski patrol" on the trail to help with breakdowns or injuries.

The official "Route of the Hiawatha Trail" is 15.1 miles, running from the East Portal, MT to Pearson, ID. (There is a lot of good running out each end as well). There are 9 of 10 train tunnels and 7 of 8 trestles on this trail that are still accessible. (One tunnel is unstable and closed. One trestle burned and is gone).

The longest tunnel is the St. Paul Pass Tunnel (Taft Tunnel or East Portal) at 1.66 miles. It is all downhill when starting at the East Portal. The trail itself used to be part of the railroad grade, so the way is well-maintained, and you won't come across too many obstacles. The Route of the Hiawatha is one of only 15 trails to be named a "Hall of Fame" trail by the Rail-to-Trail Conservancy.

You can get your trail passes and bus tickets at the trailheads (bring cash) or get them at Lookout Pass Ski Area just off I-90 at the state line. They also rent bikes at the ski lodge. Phone: 208-744-1234. There's also a shuttle bus service for an additional fee from Pearson, ID to the East Portal, MT.

From the bottom of the trail, there are a series of Forest Service roads which are pleasant and generally unchallenging if you're looking to explore more of the area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joseph States

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#1

in East Portal

#8612

Overall
  4.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in East Portal

#214

in Montana

#8,612

Overall
12 Views Last Month
866 Since Apr 26, 2017
Easy

100%
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Photos

The whole route is surrounded by a beautiful forest.
Apr 26, 2017 near Wallace, ID
It's a long way down if you look over the side of the trestle.
Apr 26, 2017 near Wallace, ID

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