The trail head for this hike is at the Giant White Pine Campground north of Harvard. It’s a loop trail which is mostly shaded and has some challenging climbs. The trail markings on this hike can be very confusing and we manage to occasionally ‘get lost’ but always find our way out! It’s about 6-7 miles. We eat our lunch at the campground at the end of the hike.
On Saturday, August 11th, The Clearwater Trekkers are headed out to Coolwater Mountain.
We’ll meet up at the Weigh Station Parking area on the north side of Kooskia, Idaho where Highways 12 and 13 meet at 8:00 AM. From there, we’ll caravan/carpool up to the junction of Coolwater Rd and Idaho Point Rd. To get there we’ll take Highway 12 east to Lowell, then turn right on Selway Rd. We’ll follow Selway Rd for about a half mile before turning left onto Coolwater Rd which will take us up to our parking area at the junction with Idaho Point Rd. According to Google Maps, it should take us an hour to get to the parking area from Kooskia. But, according to the helpful folks at the Fenn Ranger Station, the drive up Coolwater Rd itself might take 45 minutes.
The plan is to park at the Idaho Point Rd junction and hike out to the Coolwater Lookout at the peak of Coolwater Mountain. It’s a little less than 3.5 miles one way with an elevation gain of maybe 900+ feet. Here’s a helpful link to learn a bit more about what we’re getting ourselves into on the Coolwater Ridge.
Coolwater Mountain stands at about 6,920 feet in elevation, so pack for unpredictable weather. You can always leave that rain layer in the car if it’s clear and warm enough when we get there. Also, be sure to pack plenty of water since we’ll be up on a ridge and not near a ready water source.
This should be a great hike with minimal elevation gains and stunning views, and high enough up to beat the August heat. At least a little. I look forward to seeing you there!
Oh, and a little something I keep forgetting…Bring an extra pair of shoes or sandals to switch into for the ride home. Your feet will love you for it!
The trail head is 7 miles south of Grangeville. This hike is a considered easy to moderate which actually utilizes trails used by cross country skiers in the winter. It is a loop hike with lots of options along the trail to make the hike as short or long as you’d like. We usually hike about 6 miles and eat our lunch back at the pavilion.
This is a moderate hike with some steep climbs but the reward at the end is spectacular. We end up at a manned (or womanned) fire lookout which feels like it’s at the top of the world and the views are beautiful. Some of the trail is shaded. It’s about a 5 1/2 mile in and out hike with a 1,500 ft. elevation gain. Part of the challenge is the drive getting there. Your vehicle should be one with high clearance or all-wheel drive. We eat lunch at the lookout and in the past we’ve brought fresh fruit and veggies to the young lady working the lookout, but not too much, she’s only one person with a very small propane powered fridge.
Is there any better way to wrap up the hiking season than with a soak in a natural hot spring?
We’ll meet at the Kooskia weight station parking lot at 8:00 AM and carpool to the Wilderness Gateway Campground 1 hour farther east on Highway 12. Ours is Trail #211. Feel free to meet at the trailhead. We’ll hit the trail at 9:15 AM. The plan is to spend the night so we can enjoy the hot springs, but day hikers are welcome, too!
Our hike is about 6 miles one way. It starts off with an aggressive, uphill climb to get up onto Boulder Ridge. Once on top, the going should get easier. We’ll cross Boulder Creek when we turn south onto Trail #222, but the crossing should not be a problem this late in the season.
MRH posted a fantastic article on SummitPost.org about the Selway Crags. In it he provides a great description of our destination:
“Stanley hot springs is situated in the lower Huckleberry Creek drainage just upstream from its confluence with Boulder Creek. This hot springs has numerous good dispersed campsites and three pools…To reach these springs hike south from the Wilderness Gateway Campground on Trail 211. Near the mouth of Huckleberry Creek, turn right on the 221/222 trail and cross Boulder Creek. This crossing is potentially treacherous, especially at high water as Boulder Creek is a very large and rocky stream…Once Boulder Creek is crossed its just a few hundred yards on the trail to the pools.”
For our first hike of 2019, The Clearwater Trekkers will meet up at the Big Eddy Trailhead at 8:00 AM this Saturday the 12th. We’ll hike out to one of the campsites at the 3 or 5 mile marker, do lunch, then head back. How far we go will depend on trail conditions and how well we’re doing for the first hike of the year. LOL!
To get to the Big Eddy trailhead and boat launch, cross the bridge from Highway 12 into Orofino, then take your first left onto Riverside Ave (AKA Ahsahka Rd). Follow Riverside Ave past the Fish Hachery and across another bridge into Ahsahka. In a short distance, you’ll take a sharp right turn onto Viewpoint Rd, which will end at the Big Eddy boat launch parking lot. The trailhead is on the left side of the welcome center.
Be prepared for wet trail conditions. We’re expecting cloudy and 40 degree weather, so layer up. Bring a lunch and plenty of water, and don’t hesitate to reach out or comment if you have questions or suggestions. We’ll see you there!
The Clearwater Trekkers are headed to Winchester Lake for an easy winter walk along the 3.3 mile Lakeshore loop Trail on Saturday, February 23rd. We hope you’ll join us! It’s a great opportunity for new members to get to know us and for new hikers to get out on the trail.
We expect the trail to be covered with ice and snow, so bring sturdy boots and warm socks. An extra pair of shoes and socks for the ride home is a good idea, too! Layer up and be prepared for cold, wet weather just in case. Bring a sack lunch for after the hike and plenty of water.
We’ll meet up at the Winchester Dam parking lot at 9:00 AM. We won’t have to pay for parking there and the trail runs right through the parking lot. We should be able to circumnavigate the lake in an easy 3 to 4 hours. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
See you on the trail!
While the snows are up on the mountains, let’s head down into the river canyon! Join us for a hike up Rapid River in Riggins, Idaho on Saturday, March 23rd.
This is an easy to access trail with the trailhead just across from the Fish Hatchery at the end of Rapid River Road. It’s about 2 hours from Lewiston, so let’s meet at the trailhead at 9:00 AM.
The trail is not very difficult as it mostly just follows the river banks, but there are some spots where you walk up on the hillside. We will set the 3rd bridge as our goal, just like we did last time on this trail. Past the 3rd bridge, the trail climbs up on to the ridge. Please, do not hesitate to plan for a longer day if you are feeling adventurous!
Four-legged friends and children are welcome! We will have our lab and red healer with us (with leashes as needed), as well as our kids, 3 and 9 years old. Bring plenty of water, sturdy shoes, and a sack lunch.
See you on the trail!