Hike of the Month: Mineral Ridge Loop

This relatively easy loop hike is just over 3 miles in length and offers spectacular views of Lake Coeur d’Alene from vantage points high atop Mineral Ridge. The well-marked trail climbs through a mixed forest, including old-growth ponderosa pines bearing scars of past forest fires, gradually gaining the ridge through a series of switchbacks. Bear right at the first intersection; you’ll return via the left-hand trail as you complete the loop. Pack a lunch and enjoy the picnic shelter at Caribou Cabin, the highpoint at 2,790 feet, and take time to marvel at the mining dig sites along the route. Time the hike to arrive at Silver Tip Viewpoint around sunset, and bring binoculars to watch for eagles snatching fish from the water far below.  Pack a headlamp in case you linger too long.  From Silver Tip, it’s a 1-mile descent back to the trailhead along the loop trail.

Best for: Depending on temperatures, visitors may find this trail snow-free, even in winter. Check weather reports before you go; Yaktrax are recommended for icy conditions. Open to hikers and mountain bikers. Dog friendly with leash.

Getting there: From Spokane, take I-90 east past Coeur d’Alene.  Take Wolf Lodge exit 22 and turn right off the freeway to follow the south shoreline approximately 2 miles to the parking lot on the left side of the roadway.  

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