Self Guided Hikes: Ross Creek Cedars

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 but be sure to ask several days in advance so that we have time to answer your question.

Ross Creek Cedars

In summer, the Ross Creek Cedars are a place of cool, quiet refuge.  A shaded canopy of tall cedar boughs provides cool respite from the summer sun, while the large diameter old growth trees offer a measure of solitude even when the parking lot fills up.  Ross Creek softly splashes out its song as it meanders through the grove.  The Cedars tell their own tale to all who will stop, look and listen.  Their story is in the under story of plants, the fire scarred trunks, the rings from downed trees cut away for the trail and the mounds of matter building up around their trunks. Old Marten sets and fresh tracks in the mud offer insights into the lives of many residents.  The earth all around pulses with life.

For profound solitude there is no substitute for a winter walk into these magnificent cedars!  Snow falling softly on a cathedral of Cedars, winter is a magical time.  Here you will find the Scotchmans silent side.  Snow absorbs all sound.  Silence is punctuated only by the occasional woodpecker.  Snow covers the trail and the Devils Club too, freeing you to explore the trees, trunks and tracks to wherever they lead.

If you go:  In summer bring good boots or trail shoes and plenty of water, as there is no certifiably safe drinking water.  A tracking guidebook or native plant guide may add to your pleasure.  This is an easy walk, suitable for all ages.  Snacks or lunch, layers of extra clothing and rain gear are always advisable for any walk.

In winter: take extra water, food and clothes.  You will need snowshoes or cross-county skis. The winter walk takes on a moderate degree of difficulty.  The access road adds, one way, about 3 to 4 miles with a gradual rise of a few hundred feet and the same descent.

Driving Directions to the Trailhead:  To get to the Cedars, take Hwy 200 to Hwy 56 at the “Bull River Junction”.  (About 25 to 30 minutes east of Clark Fork, or about 20 minutes west of Trout Creek).  Turn north on Highway 56, go about 18 miles and watch for the forest service sign for Ross Creek Cedars, turn left.  Follow the signs to the parking lot for the Cedars.  In Winter:  After turning off Hwy 56, the Ross Creek Cedars road it will be plowed, or well traveled.  About 1.5 to 2 miles in there is a wide spot for parking on the main road, while the access road to the Cedars is on the left.  Watch for the signs.  Park there and walk, snowshoe, or ski the access road to the Cedars.

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.