Upon the recommendation of the
Idaho State Parks and Recreation Board, the
Federal Highway Administration approved our
request for $20,925 to improve the old railroad grade
between East Shoshone Park and Lookout Pass.
At our October meeting, we opened a letter with a
State of Idaho check for Phase One inside.
This $14,095 will be used this year to
The remainder of the money (Phase Two) will be received
beginning of the year and will be used to create
content for the informational signs to be placed at historical railroad and mining locations.
- buy and install a restroom at
the junction of the railroad grade with Willow (ATV) Road
and the hiking trailheads for Stevens and Lone Lake Basins
- buy picnic tables and materials for six interpretive
signs and twenty directional signs.
Although we previously stated that we intended to
add a solar self-composting restroom to match the ones
on the Trail, further
analysis and support from the Forest Service led to
the purchase and installation of a concrete vault restroom.
The Forest Service has assumed the responsibility for
pumping the vault as they do for the restrooms at
Shoshone Park. The facility is open and will remain open
throughout the winter for the comfort of cross-country
skiers and snowmobilers alike.
The county crew has been working on the railbed,
smoothing out rough spots on the compact dirt and gravel
riding surface, and providing for better erosion control.
They will continue their work in the spring.
July 2004 News for initial press
August 2004 News for photos of
the trail from Mullan to Lookout Pass, and
September 2004 News for
photos of an alternate expert route down from the Pass.
As indicated on a
of trailhead elevations,
this expansion will actually be a quality
enhancement of a favorite "locals" ride.
Currently, bicycle enthusiasts may self-shuttle
themselves to Lookout Pass in order to drop 1600
feet along the old railroad grade to Mullan, where the
Trail of the
Coeur d'Alenes begins.
Or the physically fit may
start in Mullan and
climb the railbed (maximum 4% grade)
to Lookout Pass.
Once at Lookout Pass, the expert mountain biker
may choose the
more rigorous route, shown
traverses the Montana border to Mullan Pass and
then drops 1900 feet to Mullan.
A detailed description of the railroad grade
with mileage markers may be found as part of
Connecting the Trail of the
Coeur d'Alenes to the Route of the Hiawatha.
The route was measured as 11.7 miles long when
Shoshone Park and the Fish
Hatchery were included; the newspaper article
quoted in the July 2004 News
estimated that the
more direct route using Mullan Pass Road to bypass
Shoshone Park makes the trail extension 9 miles long.
A description with mileage markers of the return to
Mullan from Lookout Pass
Pass (shown below) is also provided.
Move your mouse over
an image to bring it closer;
click on it
to see an enlargement in a separate window.
Trail #7 begins climbing near the north end of the Exit 0
overpass (on the left in the photo to the right).
Copper Lake basin in the Bitterroot Mountains
may be seen beyond Exit 0 on the Montana border.
Far above I-90, one can see part of the rigorous 1900'
drop to Mullan via Mullan Pass Road and the (roadless)
pass to the Glidden Lakes in the distance.
The easiest way to enjoy this scenery, however,
would be to start in the Lookout Pass Ski Area
parking lot and follow the railbed to Mullan, 1600
The most challenging part of the rigorous route back to
Mullan is getting from Lookout Pass to Mullan Pass...
watch for rocks!
The easy way down to Mullan follows the multi-use railbed,
which is the focus of the Friends $21K trail
The rigorous roller coaster ride through the cedar
forest to Mullan Pass is definitely NOT for
the faint-of-heart or ill-equipped biker!
Experts will love it, however.
Once you reach Mullan Pass Road, it is all
downhill to Mullan... 1900 vertical feet in 8.5 miles
means an average grade of 4.2%...
in some spots, it is twice that!