Trail Run Project Logo

Grandmother and Grandfather Mountains

Intermediate
  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

Trail

7.9 mile 12.8 kilometer loop
86% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

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

Grade

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

Dogs

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

Trail shared by Matthew Singer

Weather

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

Overview

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.

Description

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

Contacts

Rate This Featured Run

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1

in Clarkia

#1052

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Run Rankings

#1

in Clarkia

#9

in Idaho

#1,052

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

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

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

0 Comments

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

Shop REI Running