Home event Route of the Hiawatha Bike Ride

Route of the Hiawatha Bike Ride

  • 50

    Rigs Allowed
  • 15

    miles

Route of the Hiawatha Bike Ride

*** UPDATE**

Unless we have a volunteer to bring an extra shuttle vehicle, I think those that attend will have to use the Hiawatha shuttle busses. My second vehicle that was going to shuttle us had an engine failure. We are still going- hope to see you there!

You’ve said you are going to do it. You have looked at the brochure, web site, and photos- but some how you have never ridden the Hiawatha Bike Trail. Me neither, for the same reasons. So RSVP, tell your spouse, and put it on the fridge calendar now!

“The Route of the Hiawatha mountain bike or hike trail is 15 miles long with 10 train tunnels and 7 sky-high trestles. The ride starts with a trip through the 1.6 mile long St. Paul Pass Tunnel, also known as the Taft Tunnel. It is a highlight of the trail that follows the crest of the Bitterroot Mountains near Lookout Pass Ski Area.”
  • START DATE

    Saturday, June 29, 2019

    10:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
    10:00 Hrs GMT -8:00
  • END DATE

    Sunday, June 30, 2019

    12:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
    12:00 Hrs GMT -8:00
  • OVERLAND BOUND REGION

    US Northwest

  • EVENT TYPE

    Trip

  • DIFFICULTY

    1 VERY EASY

Terrain Type

  • Dirt Road
  • Highway

Recommended

Channel

Channel Channel Value
  • HAM 146.200

Rally Point Notes:

*** UPDATE**

Unless we have a volunteer to bring an extra shuttle vehicle, I think those that attend will have to use the Hiawatha shuttle busses. My second vehicle that was going to shuttle us had an engine failure. We are still going- hope to see you there!

Getting there: Part of your hesitation in doing this trip was the confusing directions. I’ll do my best to clear up some confusion. Our objective is to do this without paying for the shuttle service, but if you wish to, you are welcome to go that route.

First we will drop off the bikes at the trailhead. This location is referred to as the East Portal (47.396573, -115.635196). From Coeur d’Alene, Head east on Interstate 90 for 66 miles into Montana. Take the Taft Exit (Exit 5). Turn right and follow the signs toward the East portal for 2.6 miles. We will all meet in the parking lot at 10:00A.M. Pacific TIME. Unload the bikes from your vehicles.

Second we will take the vehicles to the exit of the trail known as the Pearson Trailhead (47.351772, -115.736320). Expect this drive to take about 40 minutes one-way. From the parking lot at the East Portal, drive back to exit 5 at the interstate. DO NOT GET BACK ON THE INTERSTATE! From Taft, head west on a frontage road called “Northern Pacific Trail/Riverbend North” on the south side of the interstate for 14.3 miles. 3 Miles from Taft, the road will turn south away from the interstate and into the mountains. At 11.6 miles from Taft, take a left at a Y junction. At 14.6 miles from Taft you will make a hard left 180 degree turn to approach the parking lot at Pearson Trailhead. We will leave all the vehicles but one, this vehicle will bring all the drivers back to the East Portal.

This begs the question: What do we save by not taking the shuttle? The shuttles charge $10 per person with their bicycle. The busses run on their own schedule and do not leave Pearson until they are FULL. The shuttles DO NOT bring you back to the East Portal. Instead, they drop you off at Roland and you must ride over 2 miles uphill through the longest tunnel to reach the start point. Our scenario allows you to ride at your own pace, downhill, no backtracking, and get in your vehicle and leave whenever you are ready.

Third- (pay up) and Ride! Be prepared to pay for access to the Hiawatha Trail one of two ways: You can buy tickets at Lookout Pass Ski Area or you need to have cash for passes purchased on the trail. Passes are $10 for adults, $8 per child. Typical there are cash-only concessions at Taft and Pearson trailheads that sell drinks, sandwiches, and t-shirts- but be prepared to pay $10 for a turkey sandwich.

There is a Group Discount for tickets of 10% if you pre-register and pre-pay online for groups of 10 or more. Feel free to make your own individual groups and take advantage of this discount!

Accommodations: There is primitive camping in the area, the best I have found is Gold Rush Campground which has a vault toilet, fire rings, and picknick tables. The problem is that it is 1 hour 40 minutes (46 miles) from Lookout Pass. There is also Turner Flat campground near Avery, Idaho. It is 1-hour south of the Pearson trailhead and has similar amenities as Gold Rush. Unfortunately camping at the Lookout Pass Ski Area parking lot is out, you must have a self-contained RV. Please give suggestions for camping in the comments and we’ll get this figured out!

References:
https://www.ridethehiawatha.com/

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Mike Dubya

11674
  • Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA
  • @Mike Dubya
  • 04/05/18

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Mike Dubya

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Michael W | Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA Member since 05 Apr 2018

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britz

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britz | Musselshell, Idaho Member since 10 May 2017

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Idaho Overland

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Idaho Overland | Idaho Falls, ID, USA Member since 10 Sep 2017

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