Self Guided Hikes: Star Peak via Historic Big Eddy Trail #999

This section contains information on several self-guided hikes into the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Area, so that if you are not able to join one of the scheduled Guided Hikes you will still be able to enjoy this beautiful scenic roadless area.

If you have questions before you go on any of these hikes, please send email to Info@ScotchmanPeaks.org but be sure to ask several days in advance so that we have time to answer your question.


Star Peak via Historic Big Eddy Trail #999

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStar Peak can be climbed from several trails –  the easiest access is the Big Eddy Trail #999 which starts near the Clark Fork River and climbs into the heavens. Although Star Peak acquired its current name several years ago, long time residents, and some old maps, will know this as “Squaw Peak”.  Climbing a little over 4,000 feet, the elevation gain is greater than on Scotchman Peak, but doing it over 5 miles (one way) the grade is more forgiving, slightly.

#999 has replaced the lower part of #998, an old mining road that switchbacked through the heavily forested lower slopes, with limite views and steep, cobbley stretches. The newer trail, cut by FSPW volunteers, is single track and reaches some great views within a third of a mile from the trail head. #999 intersects #998 beyond where it becomes single track about half way up the mountain. From there, it’s a steady climb through forest sprinkled liberally with huckleberry bushes. Just below the lookout, you will crest a saddle just below the summit and the sight of Billiard Table Mountain will take your breath away.  During the final climb, the views continue to expand into an absolutely stunning panorama.  By the time you are at the old fire lookout, you will know – this is the top of the world!

Highway 200 provides year round access to the trailhead, but beware – snow lingers well into summer on the highest slopes. In the winter this is a difficult but extremely rewarding snowshoe trip – if your thighs are up to the task.  (Only those individuals well experienced in backcountry winter travel should undertake a winter trip on Star Peak.)

If you go: Bring good boots or trail shoes and plenty of water, as the route is “dry” with no on trail water source.  (A small stream runs nearby the lowest parts of the trail).  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 Trailhead: The trail head is just off of Montana Highway 200 45 miles east of Sandpoint, ID and 45 miles west of Thompson Falls, MT . Near MP 6.5 ± is the intersection of Forest Road #2292, which turns away from the river up the hill. Up the road 100 yards, there is a switchback and the trail head is in that corner. There is room for about four or five cars near the trail head. It’s marked with a brown gilsonite lath with the number 999 on it. Have fun!


Map of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness

High quality maps are available!

The Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, with support from the Idaho Conservation League, has produced a high quality hiking map for the Scotchman Peaks area.

This full-color, shaded relief, topographic map shows maintained trails and trail head access routes on one side. The other side of the map has information designed to inspire as well as assist in trip planning.

You can pick up your FREE copy at many locations throughout our communities, including those retail businesses who sell our t-shirts and other merchandise, forest service ranger district offices, chamber of congresses, or at an upcoming Friends of Scotchman Peaks event.

Please see our Store Page or our Maps Page for a list of local retailers where you can find our Maps and other merchandise.

High Resolution downloadable copies of the Map only are also available on our Maps Page.