Coeur d’Alene is one of those beautiful places that leaves a lasting impact on you. We have been totally captivated by this town since we discovered her in the beginning of our travel adventure, two years ago. After visiting over 38 states, this sweet little area is still one of our very favorites.
As soon as we pulled into town this summer…and revealed our location on Social Media, my Instagram Friends where quick to suggest this hike. I knew it would be a hike worth taking, when four different people told me about it in a matter of days.
The Trailhead is only fifteen minutes from downtown Coeur d’Alene and it is an easy drive along Highway 90. The scenic area is easily found in Google Maps. You will find ample parking, a picnic area and restroom facilities.
This is a moderate hike. Chris and I were able to do the hike, sans kiddos…as they were hanging out with the grandparents that afternoon. We cruised at a great pace and did the entire 3.3 mile loop in an hour, and that was with sitting on a bench for five minutes to enjoy the view and taking photos. Families with small children will make an afternoon out of this, as it will take them much, much longer…but it is very doable.
The first half of the hike is a nice smooth path, but the second half is a bit less even, and a bit rocky…but still a fairly easy path. We wore trail runners for this hike. I would not worry about wearing hiking boots unless you feel more comfortable with the ankle support.
Most of the trail is comprised of these nice, long switchbacks that take you to the top of the hill, and then back down. AllTrails states that the elevation gain is 695 feet.
We really enjoyed the fact that there is ample shade on this trail. It made for such an enjoyable hike on a fairly hot day.
You can find further location info on this National Recreation Area’s page HERE.
From the Trailhead, you will follow the trail up to the Caribou Cabin. There are numbered markers all the way up to the cabin, which is marker #16.
After you pass the cabin, there will be less markers, but you will only have about one mile remaining on the loop back to the Trailhead. The view from the cabin is nice…but the real views worth photographing are on your descent down, on the last portion of the hike.
The views do not stop! They are off the charts a.m.a.z.i.n.g.
Someone had the ingenious idea to place little benches all along the trail….so it is oh-so-easy to pause and soak up the views.
I look forward to taking my kids back and sharing this hike with them.
Is this view gorgeous, or what?!
An Added Treat
When you do end up enjoying this hike, chances are…you will not want to leave. That’s ok, we did not either. Continue on around the bend of the lake, on Highway 97 and head over to Hutton’s General Store.
You can grab a cold drink or a scoop of ice cream and then…sit out in the back and revel in this view…
They have a super cute little area to sit and enjoy the sites.
Just another sweet spot to enjoy lake life in Idaho. Happy travels…and I hope you find your way over here.