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Harrison Lake Trail #217 - Selkirk Mtns, ID

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2.45 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,748 feet
Elevation Gain 1,437 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,450 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.28
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
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15  2021-10-03 LindaAnn
Author LindaAnn
author avatar Guides 65
Routes 407
Photos 4,548
Trips 1,378 map ( 9,903 miles )
Age 41 Female Gender
Location Ahwatukee, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  7:19am - 5:42pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

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by LindaAnn

Overview: Popular, scenic, relatively easy trail leading up to Harrison Lake in the Selkirk Mountains.

Hike: Harrison Lake Trail heads north from the parking area, just on the east side of the restroom, and is signed with a marker for #217, and numerous warnings about bears, both black and grizzly, in the area. The trail immediately heads uphill, steadily gaining elevation as it first heads north, then northwest. The forest is dense, mostly conifer, and views are limited at first.
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As you climb, you will catch glimpses of a huge, granite-topped mountain to your left. Eventually, the breaks in the trees allow for some good pictures of this peak, along with the rest of the Selkirk Crest to the west. For the first two miles, the trail is very easy to follow, and while a little rocky in places, is in generally good condition. Numerous small creeks/drainages cross the trail but are easy to step over, although they may pose more of a challenge to keep dry feet during spring runoff.

At about two miles, which is marked with the metal '2' sign on a tree on the right side of the trail, the trail starts to become steeper. Shortly after the '2' sign, there will be a junction with Myrtle Creek Trail #6 coming in from the right. Stay left to continue up to Harrison Lake. The trail starts to cross large granite rocks and several large slabs of granite. The trail becomes somewhat indistinct in places, but still intuitive to follow the most logical route up, with a few cairns to guide you. Views to the east and south open up and the scenery distracts from the steepness of the trail. Use caution if there is precipitation, as the granite slabs will likely be slippery.

The trail heads west as you approach Harrison Lake, which is bordered on three sides by the Selkirk Crest. Numerous small trails lead to the shoreline, and several campsites edge the lake. There is a bear-resistant food storage locker on the southeast edge of the lake, which seems to be where most of the campsites are located. Harrison Peak rises prominently on the north side of the lake, 1100' above you. There is a use trail on the opposite side of the lake that does lead up to the Crest, but I did not explore it. Harrison Lake is also the headwaters of the Pack River, which begins at the southeastern edge of the lake.

The views are quite impressive, and it is easy to see why this is a popular trail. Most hikers will retrace their steps back down to the trailhead to make this an out-and-back hike, but there numerous recreation opportunities in the area.

Warning: This is moose and grizzly country, pay attention to your surroundings. There have been moose encounters at the lake, some of which have resulted in temporary closures of the trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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2021-10-04 LindaAnn

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    The road to the trailhead is usually open to vehicle traffic from April 1 thru November 15. Only accessible by snowmobile during the winter months.

    The last 12 miles of Upper Pack River Rd (FS-231) are dirt, but okay in a sedan if dry.

    From Sandpoint, take Hwy 95 north approx 13 miles to Upper Pack River Road. Turn left on Upper Pack River Rd, which is paved at first, but switches to dirt at the Boundary County line. There are a few signs along the road providing directions for Harrison Lake and the trailhead is signed and is approx 20 miles from Hwy 95. There is room for parking for approx 6-8 vehicles.
    page created by LindaAnn on Oct 03 2021 10:29 pm
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