Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mullan, Idaho to Lookout Pass

Lookout Pass Ski Area on the Idaho/Montana boder has plenty of snow and is planning on opening this Friday Nov. 18. So it's about time I reported on my little trip from the end of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in Mullan, Idaho to Lookout Pass over an old railroad bed. I had found part of the trail on a little reconnaissance trip done with my brother-in-law Shawn at the end of a family outing on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, but I was stumped on just how to get to Lookout Pass.

I found some slightly confusing directions on the Friends of the Coeur d'Alenes' website and one day last July I set out with my trusty Redline Conquest Sport. It's my beginner cyclococross bike with 32mm street tires. No cushy fat tire suspension bike for me. (maybe next time as the trial was a little rough in spots)

It's a few miles from Mullan to Shoshone Park where the ride begins:
The directions say to turn left here to Shoshone Park, but you can go right here and take a shortcut to the Junction with Mullan Pass Rd. You'll miss the fish hatchery though. 

At the park. I cheated on this trip and drove all the way here instead of cycling in from Mullan

At the fish hatchery. Took me a while to figure out but you go left here. It's also the only way out.
To the left is FR 133. I think. Forest Roads are not big on signage, I guess. It's part of the adventure.

This sign is in a snowmobile parking lot, which I fugured out later was also the Junction with Mullan Pass Rd, and is actually just above Shoshone Park. If you go right in the first picture instead of to Shoshone Park, you would end up here also. From here, you go right to Lookout Pass...which surprisingly took me a while to figure out! I thought it meant thataway to the freeway.

A mile or two or more after crossing under the freeway and climbing

This is at the Stevens Lake Trailhead - this is a switchback you take at the end of the parking lot 

I wasn't sure if I was still on the right trail at this point. It looked worse in person.

Near the top, looking towards Idaho.

Made it! Wasn't too hard of a climb, being an old railroad grade. Just a bit of a rough ride in spots.
Looking towards Montana from Lookout Pass parking area. I went down the same way I rode up, but next time I'm going to make a loop, crossing the freeway here and taking Mullan Pass down. Or maybe take Mullan Pass up. Or maybe continue on from Lookout to the Hiawatha trail. Who knows...

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