spectacular summit views
Overview: Chilco Mountain is a large north-south running mountain in the Coeur d'Alene National Forest. North Chilco Peak, while not the highest point of the entire mountain, is the peak at the north end, and affords the most peak-like feel and views.
Hike: Starting at the junction of FS-332 (Bunco Rd) & FS-385, there is a fiberglass marker at the southwest corner. The trail heads uphill towards the southwest, heading up a ridge between the two roads. The elevation gain is steady, and you will be surrounded by trees. The first quarter mile or so of the trail follows an old roadbed, before turning to a single track and switchbacking uphill.
As the trail heads uphill, in a generally southwest direction, you can glimpse a couple of views of Lake Pend Oreille to the north. The trail surface is good, mostly dirt and pine needles, and rarely rocky. At about 1.70 miles, you will pass a nice campsite on your right. Make a side trip over to it and check out the excellent views to the west. Just after the campsite, the trail forks. It is not signed, but take the left fork to head up to North Chilco. Taking the right fork leads you on the direct route to South Chilco.
After taking the left fork, the trail heads south and up into the talus. The trees disappear, and the trail becomes rocky as it winds through the talus field. At the summit, there are the remains of what appears to have been a tower and possibly a small building. Views in all directions are spectacular.
Once you've soaked in the views, retrace your steps back downhill to the north, or continue to head south off the summit and make your way over to South Chilco. The hike back to the trailhead is a steady downhill and goes by quickly.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.