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Shorty Peak-Italian Ridge Trl#95 -Selkirk Mtns, ID

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.57 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,272 feet
Elevation Gain 1,233 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,299 feet
Avg Time One Way 1-2 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 6.9
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes
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13  2021-10-05 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 → 7 AM
Seasons   Summer to Autumn
Sun  7:19am - 5:42pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

by LindaAnn

Overview: Pleasant hike up Italian Ridge to the lookout tower at the summit of Shorty Peak.

Hike: The start of the trail is well signed at the southwest edge of the small parking area at the saddle. The trail heads west, and the ascent starts immediately but is gentle for the first three-quarters of a mile. Footing is good, and easy on the knees with packed dirt, but few rocks. The vegetation is dense, almost rainforest-like in places, so views are limited. Moss covers a lot of the rocks, and we saw at least a half dozen different types of mushrooms along the trail. After about three-quarters of a mile, the trail continues to head generally west but becomes noticeably steeper for the next half mile. There are some tree roots to contend with, but the footing is still good.
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As the trail turns to the southwest, it flattens out and the next three-quarters of a mile or so are a breeze--nearly level, easy walk in the park, but still no real views. At about two miles, a signed side trail for a spring leads off to the right, and the main trail continues straight ahead. A short distance later, the lookout tower atop Shorty Peak finally comes into view ahead of you. At this point, the trail begins to steepen. After passing through a small clearing, which has the first real views of the hike, the trail gets even steeper and rockier as it makes its way up the eastern side of Shorty Peak.

As you approach the summit, the trees give way, and the tower sits alone atop the peak. Views in all directions from the balcony of the tower are outstanding, making this short hike definitely worth the trip. There are some rocks on the south side of the tower on which you can sit and relax. During the summer months, the tower can be reserved online for an overnight stay, and you will receive the code to the combo lock for the door to the tower. Lone Tree Peak is just west of Shorty Peak, and it appeared there may be a use trail between the two peaks for those who are looking for an added adventure on this hike. Otherwise, once you are done enjoying the views at the summit, retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

Note: I had cell service for nearly the entirety of the trail, but it was from a Canadian provider/tower.

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2021-10-05 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
    Most of the forest roads are in good condition and are easily accessible by a sedan. There are a few potholes on portions of Smith Creek Road, and the final mile or so to the trailhead has some ruts that would require careful negotiation in a low clearance vehicle.

    From I-90 in Coeur d'Alene, take Hwy 95 north through Bonners Ferry, recommended to get fuel in Bonners Ferry, since you won't see another station after that. From Bonners Ferry, continue north on Hwy 95 for another 17 miles to Hwy 1. Turn left on Hwy 1 and follow north for 2 miles to Copeland Rd. Turn left on Copeland Rd and take west for 4 miles to Westside Rd. Turn right on Westside Rd and take north for 9 miles to Smith Creek Rd/FS-281. Turn left on Smith Creek/FS-281 (becomes a dirt road here) and take south/west for 8 miles. Stay right onto FS655 (signed for Shorty Peak) and follow west for 1.50 miles. Turn right at the switchback onto FS282 (signed as well) and follow road and signs for 4 miles up to the parking area (signed) at the saddle. Most of the parking is on the left side of the road.
    page created by LindaAnn on Oct 05 2021 7:37 pm
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