Moose Lake and Mountain Trail Loop, ID

Guide 1 Triplog Mine 0 0 Topics
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 7.23 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,897 feet
Elevation Gain 1,610 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,786 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.16
Interest Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes
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25  2020-07-03 LindaAnn
author avatar Guides 75
Routes 420
Photos 5,311
Trips 1,537 map ( 11,005 miles )
Age 42 Female Gender
Location Ahwatukee, AZ
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Preferred May, Sep, Jun, Apr
Seasons   Summer to Early Autumn
Sun  5:37am - 8:01pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
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Named place Nearby
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Starting from the Moose Lake Trailhead, head southeast on Moose Lake Trail #237. In about half a mile, you will reach a signed junction, and can choose to complete the loop in either direction. This guide describes the loop counter-clockwise, visiting Moose Mtn first, followed by Moose Lake last.

Turn right at the junction and head up Blacktail Lake Trail #24. The trail winds lazily up the north and west slopes of Moose Mtn. Most stream crossings have bridges. The trail is easy to follow, but vegetation does grow closely alongside the trail. Luckily, none seem to have thorns.

On the west side of Moose Mtn, at about 2.70 miles, there will be another signed junction. Continuing south (right) will take you on a short side trip to Blacktail Lake (highly recommended), and making a sharp left will continue the Moose Mtn Loop.

Now heading east-southeast, the trail becomes steeper as you begin the final mile to the summit. Views are excellent. The trail will make a sharp switchback as it gains the final ridge that leads to the summit. Hiking up the ridge is beautiful, with rocks to wind around as you enjoy airy views to the northeast. There is a large cairn at the summit, just above the left side of the trail. In the trees about 20' east of the summit is a plaque in memory of Daniel Webster VanStone, who manned the fire tower in the 1930s. A short distance east of the summit is another highpoint with even better views.

After enjoying the sights, head east down the trail. You will rapidly lose elevation as the trail descends the ridge. After about 1/3 mile the trail turns north and starts to descend the bowl leading down to Moose Lake. The trail is steep as it winds downhill. My posted GPS track deviates from the official trail slightly as we were navigating through snow, but it still is pretty close to the true route.

As you near the lake, the trail levels off while you hike along the west side of the lake. There are numerous camping areas around the lake, and at the northwest edge of it, a bridge and a bear-resistant food storage bin. Yes, you are in grizzly country up here. Just after the bridge is another sign leading you back to Moose Creek Trail and from the lake, it is 2 miles back to the trailhead.

Leaving the lake, the trail heads north, then west, gradually downhill. You'll pass a few signs indicating how far it is to the trailhead and the junction you turned off at to begin the loop. From there, continue northwest the last half mile to the trailhead.

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2020-07-03 LindaAnn
    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
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From Coeur d'Alene, take US-95 north to Sandpoint. At Sandpoint, take Hwy 200 East to Trestle Creek Rd. Turn left on Trestle Creek Rd, which turns into FS-275. Take FS-275 up to where it ends at FS-419. Turn left at FS-419 and take it another 3 miles to where it ends at Moose Lake trailhead.

    FS-275 is car-friendly. FS-419, especially the last 2 miles of it, is medium clearance. There are places to park alongside the road if you wanted to walk the last 2 miles to the trailhead.

    Searching "Moose Lake" in google maps also provides the same directions.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Jul 03 2020 9:59 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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