Trail Run Project Logo

Grandmother and Grandfather Mountains

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


7.9 mile 12.8 kilometer loop
86% Runnable


Ascent: 1,397' 426 m
Descent: -1,398' -426 m
High: 6,327' 1,929 m
Low: 5,630' 1,716 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Matthew Singer


Current trail conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

An awesome run with big views, subalpine terrain, and lots of huckleberries.

Matthew Singer

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This out-and-back route remains entirely above 5500 feet and features views of the St. Marie River Valley and the Marble Creek - St. Joe Drainage. Wildflowers make it especially colorful in the spring while huckleberries are abundant in late summer.


This route starts at Freezeout Saddle on Forest Service Road #301. Most cars can make it to the trailhead, but be careful as the road gets rough during the last mile or two.

The Marble Divide Trail #275 begins on the slopes of Mark's Butte with open views of the valley 3000 feet below. It then enters the forest and descends to a small saddle before making the 700 foot climb up to the summit of Grandmother Mountain. Be sure to keep right at the intersection with the Gold Fork Trail and then keep left at the intersection with the Marble Creek Trail. At this point, the slope steepens and the trail emerges into a beautiful alpine meadow. Rocky cliffs provide clear views over Clarkia and the St. Maries River on the left. On the right, you'll find the headwaters of Marble Creek with the bald Lookout Mountain rising up behind. A rock outcropping 3/4 of the way up the climb makes for a great spot to take a rest. Once at the top of the ridge, a short 0.2 mile spur leads through an old-growth forest of Mountain Hemlock to the summit of Grandmother Mountain. On a clear day, the views over Marble Creek and the St. Joe River drainage are nothing short of spectacular. Turning back from here will provide you with a 5 mile run.

For a longer 8-mile option, continue right on the Marble Divide Trail #275 as the trail descends into a shallow saddle, cloaked in a mix of old growth and newer recovered forest. The trail then makes one more climb up to the summit of Grandfather Mountain. The views on Grandfather Mountain aren't quite as open and great as they are on Grandmother, but the extra distance isn't very difficult and is still worth the trip.

There is a backcountry campsite and a spring just past the spur to the summit of Grandmother Mountain to make this an overnight option.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background


Rate This Featured Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In



Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote


in Clarkia


  5.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Run Rankings


in Clarkia


in Idaho


32 Views Last Month
2,193 Since Oct 8, 2017



Grandmother Mountain Trail
Oct 8, 2017 near Clarkia, ID
Meadow and View along the trail.
Oct 8, 2017 near Clarkia, ID
Beargrass and Lookout Mountain
Oct 8, 2017 near Clarkia, ID
Grandmother Mountain Summit
Oct 8, 2017 near Clarkia, ID


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running