This is the “grand-daddy” of hikes in the proposed wilderness, an annual pilgrimage for many local hikers. The trail is a little over 4 miles one-way, but the elevation gain is 3,700 feet. This is a short climb, but strenuous because it is steep. The well worn trail tread is usually in good shape and leads to the highest point in Bonner County, the top of Scotchman Peak. Stunning panoramas of Lake Pend Oreille begin at “the meadows”, about two thirds of the way up and they continue to unfold as you reach the summit. The peak looks over, and deep into, the rugged valleys and ridges of the Scotchman Peaks area. Mountain goats are frequently encountered on the surrounding ridges and near the summit. Snow lingers late into the summer of most years.
If you go: Bring good boots or trail shoes and plenty of water, as the route is “dry” with no definitive water source. Snacks or lunch, layers of extra clothing and rain gear are always advisable in the mountains. You will appreciate good binoculars and a camera.
Driving Directions to the Trail head: Take Highway 200 (east from Sandpoint) and in downtown Clark Fork turn north at the Chevron Station. Go past the school and continue up Mosquito Creek Road #276. Go past the Clark Fork Field Campus / outfitters to the junction of Road #2294. Turn right and go a little over a mile. Watch for signs for trail #65. Turn left on road 2294A and turn left. Follow this a little over a mile to where the road ends at the Trail head. Look Up.