Trail of the Hiawatha "BUTT STRIPE" - It's worth it! - Another Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Adventure

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty SP000

Route of the Hiawatha Mountain Bike Trail Adventure: ( The Route of the Hiawatha. The Last Continental Railroad.  Stretched from Milwaukee to Washington )

Tim Jank - Hiawatha Trail Butt Stripe - Badge of HonorI had Relatives visiting from Southern California for the 4th of July week and needed to keep them busy with more than just Boating, Swimming, Golf, floating the river, Shopping and Eating.  We had already done all the usual "Worlds Only's," Theme Parks, Water Parks, regular Tourist stuff, etc., etc, during their previous visits. 

My Cousin Amy is really cute, thin and fit.  So, she of course, decided the 46 mile "Route of the Hiawatha Mountain Bike Trail" was just the thing for us all to do.  And I mean ALL.  She was not about to let anyone stay behind.  So, with her very strong forceful encouragement we filled up 2 Suburbans and headed out on the 45-minute drive to the Montana / Idaho border to conquer The Hiawatha Trail. 

Our ages ranged from 8 to 53 and we were a group of 12.  We didn't need our own bikes; helmets or lights (for the pitch black tunnels).  The Lookout Pass Ski Area provided us with all of that plus our Trail & Shuttle Passes for a very reasonable fee. The equipment was all in good order.  You can use your own Mountain Bikes and just purchase the Trail and Shuttle passes. DO NOT forget to bring really good flash lights that fix to your bike or helmet. The tunnels are totally dark as dark can be! If you don't have a light (they are required) you can rent one for $4.00.

Oh, what does all of this have to do with a Hiawatha "Butt Stripe"?  Well, when you are done with this fabulous ride that takes you through many long dark (Very Very DARK) and damp tunnels with water dripping down the tunnel's walls and from talactite looking fingers along the ceiling ...  Your backside should look like the PHOTO ....  It's actually a Badge of Honor, and proof you completed your mission.

Depending on your enthusiasm, it is either a 30 mile round trip with 2000 feet of elevation change, or 17 miles of level and downhill dirt track with a shuttle bus ride to regain your 1000 foot elevation loss.

The Route of the Hiawatha - Trail Sign

Route of the Hiawatha has been called one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country. Winding through eleven tunnels and over nine high steel trestles, past waterfalls, ridge top vistas, wildlife and numerous interpretive signs. These detailed signs provide information about the rich mining and railroading history in this scenic passage way through the spectacular Bitterroot Mountains, famous between 1911 and 1961 as the "Route of the Hiawatha" on the Milwaukee Road between Illinois and Washington. 

The 46-mile route crosses the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. The route of the Hiawatha is best known for the long, dark St. Paul Pass or "Taft" Tunnel which burrows for 1.8 miles under, yes UNDER the state line. The tunnel, which had been closed for repairs, reopened for use by mountain bikers, hikers, and wheelchair users the end of May 2001.

This is not a trail you'd want to bike in the winter. The snow in these rugged Bitterroot Mountains over the Idaho and Montana border would be tough enough, even without the bears that are rumored to hibernate in some of the tunnels. Some bears like to get started even before the biking season ends - October 2, 2005 - and the trail rangers have to scoot them out in the morning before they open the trail to riders at 8:30 in the morning. It stays open until 6:00 p.m. 

Wouldn't you know I'd wait until I'm 50 to finally do it!  I was extremely apprehensive since I have not been on a bike in at least 15 years, let alone Mountain Bike w/gears.  I was absolutely sure they were going to bring me down in a stretcher.  Well, they didn't and I'm ready to go again!

Don't keep telling yourself you're going to do the Route of the Hiawatha Mountain Bike Trail in Northern Idaho someday. I talked about doing it for the past 7-years and just never seemed to get around to it. Well, just get up off that rear end, like we did, and go for it! It is an experience you will never forget.  Whether you are 6 or 90, this is an awesome family outing or a rigorous workout depending on how you choose to ride it.

Loading 12 Mountain Bikes at Lookout Ski Lodge

 

12 Mountain Bikes on 2 Vehicles! At Look Out Mountian - They provide everything                  Begining of Hiawatha Trail at Montana Idaho Border

Begining of Trail - Just before the 1st 1.8 mile  tunnel. Entering the 1.8 mile Tunnel on Hiawatha Trail

 

 Entering the 1.8 Mile Tunnel on the Route of the Hiawatha Trail.  This Tunnel is Darker than Dartk!!

1909 St Paul Pass Tunnel 20 Trail of the Hiawatha

 We made it through the first Tunnel. 1.8 Miles of really DARK and WET tunnel.  1909 St. Paul Pass Tunnel 20 on the Trail of the Hiawatha.

Travis Jank, Tanis and Zuriah Irwin Hiawatha Trail Waterfall

 

Travis Jank, Tanis and Zuriah Irwin (of North Idaho) at the 1st Waterfall on Hiawatha Trail. Wayne Simmons, (of So.CA and North ID) in Background.

                                                                                                                                                                                  

Zuriah Irwin and Chipmunk - Trail of the Hiawatha

 

Zuriah Irwin pretends to feed chipmunk.   These little guys were obviously used to being fed by humans. Never feed wildlife.Hisory of the Trail of the Hiawatha Trestle on the Hiawatha Trail

 

The Trestle in the background is one we will be crossing later in the day.  Scarry Looking!

 

Crossing Trestle on Hiawatha Trail

We are pausing to get up the nerve to cross the 1st Trestle.  Really Scarry High Up!

Katie Simmons makes it across one of the Hiawatha Trestles

 Katie Simmons (of So.CA and North Idaho)makes it across one of the Hiawatha Trail Trustles.  The rest should be a cinch!

Waterfall on the Trail of the Hiawatha

 Another beautiful waterfall on the Trail of the Hiawatha.

View from the Trail of the Hiawatha

One of the Short Tunnels on the Hiawatha Trail

 The Shortest Tunnel on the Hiawatha Trail

View from the Trail of the Hiawatha

Everywhere you look is a scene worth painting!

Deer on Hiawatha Trail

 Young deer at mouth of a Tunnel on the Hiawatha Trail. Zuriah Irwin on the Trail of the Hiawatha

 Zuriah Irwin on one of the Trestle Bridges of the Trail of the Hiawatha. She is a BRAVE one!  Just DON'T look DOWN!

Kristen Simmon on the Trail of the Hiawatha

 Kristen Simmons (of So.CA and No. ID) It was tough to keep up with her on the trail!Our Group on the Trail of the Hiawatha

 Our Group (most of us) on the Trail of the Hiawatha.  Joe Amlani, Wayne, Kirsten, Amy and Katie Simmons, Zuriah and Tanis Irwin, Travis and Tim Jank. Erik and Shannon Simmons (of So.CA) not in photo.

Wolf Lodge Inn Coeur d'Alene Idaho

 We ended our day with a great Porterhouse Steak and Pepper Bridge wine at the Wolf Lodge Inn, Coeur d'Alene, ID.

 Dinner at the Wolf Lodge Inn, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

 Joe Amlani (of So.CA) treated us all to a fabulous steak dinner, rocky mountain oysters and Pepper Bridge wine.  Thank you Joe. You are the greatest!

 I have many great photos of the Hiawatha Trail but don't want to spoil it for you.  You'll just have to see the rest of it for your selves!

 

 

 

 

There is a nominal fee to ride the trail. The fee goes to pay the Trail Marshals to be out there everyday making sure that the route is clean and safe, and to help fund maintenance of the trail.

The fees are as follows: (as of 7/08/2008)

Day Pass: Adult $9, Child $5 (3-13 yrs) Children under 3 are Free, (All children must be accompanied by an adult)

Season Pass: $25 Adult, $12 Child (3 -13 yrs)

Shuttle Tickets:  Adults $9    Child $6 (3-13 yrs)

If you need to rent Mountain Bikes Bike Rental Packages (includes helmet & light):

Adult front suspension mountain bike $28 + tax, Adult comfort bike with full suspension $32 + tax, Children (3-13 yrs) $18 + tax Tag-a-long bikes $18 + tax, Burley (canvas) trailers $20 + tax, Helmets $6 + tax, Lights $4 + tax, 6% Idaho sales tax will be added to all equipment rentals.

You can go to the Lookout Pass Web site for full details; Trail Passes, Shuttle Tickets, Rentals, Maps, etc.: www.skilookout.com/hiawatha/ or contact: Phone: (208)744-1301

Thanks for going on this Coeur d'Alene, Idaho adventure with us,

Please contact me with any of your  Real Estate and/or Relocation needs:

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - City by the LakePam Jank, Realtor, GRI, CRS, ABR, RRS, PPS
Your North Idaho Real Estate Pro
FREE MLS Listings Search at:
Web:  Coeur d'Alene Idaho Homes for Sale
email to:pamjank@hotmail.com
Phone:  208-661-2282
Fax:  208-772-628 Toll Free:  800-829-2555 EXT.1275
COLDWELL BANKER SCHNEIDMILLER REALTY
435 W. Hanley Avenue
Coeur d'Alene, ID  838315

 

Posted by


CONTACT INFO:

Pam Jank, CRS, GRI, ABR, CNE, RRS, Realtor(c)Pam Jank, CRS, GRI, ABR, CNE, RRS, Realtor(c)
Your North Idaho Real Estate Pro
www.SellingNorthIdaho.com - Your Free Local MLS Property Search Link
208-661-2282 or Toll Free 800-829-2555 ext. 1275
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty
1924 Northwest Blvd, Coeur d'Alene ID 83814
 

 

property.contact_company
Equal Opportunity HousingEqual Opportunity Housing

 Lake Coeur d'Alene

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
Idaho Kootenai County Coeur d'Alene Hayden
Groups:
Posts to Localism
Things to Do/Places to Visit
Localism Success and Accountability Group
TravelingRainers
Internet Empowered Consumer
Tags:
idaho
montana
mountain bike
bike trail
transcontinental railroad
hiawatha trail
route of the hiawatha
milwaukee road

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainer
49,334
Doug Garner
CENTURY 21 Garner Properties - Independence, KY
Principal Broker, Auctioneer, Northern Kentucky

Amazing photos. I have never heard of the Hiawatha Bike Trail before. What a great local treasure for you. It makes me want to pack up and drive to Idaho for the scenery. Thanks for posting.

Jul 08, 2008 03:14 PM #1
Rainmaker
2,351,071
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Absolutely amazing pictures!  I have a sister that lives in Weiser, Idaho.  And I'm always in awe of the things there are to see in that state, when I go there to visit.

Myrl Jeffcoat
http://www.myrljeffcoat.com

 

Jul 08, 2008 06:12 PM #2
Anonymous
Steve Richardson

Thanks for the great description of your trip down the Hiawatha Trail and the terrific pictures.  We rode the trail two weeks ago today.  It was wonderful.  We were only a group of four, but our two oldest are 57 & 58 and sorely out of shape.  We all loved it and are ready to go again!  I would encourage almost anyone to go.  It's a great experience.

I will share your Blog to share with friends considering or planning to visit us on Lake Coeur d'Alene.

When you ride the Trail of the Coeur D'Alenes, please post your experience with that as wll!

Steve

Jul 09, 2008 04:52 AM #3
Rainmaker
253,935
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

Steve,  Since we all survived The Hiawatha Trail (our group did do the easy ride that is mostly downhill), the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes would be a great one for next year.  Thanks for the suggestion.  Pam

 

Jul 09, 2008 07:15 AM #4
Rainmaker
45,529
Michael Mullin
Caliber Home Loans NMLS 15622, Originating loans in CA, OR and WA. - Bend, OR
NMLS 11911 - Branch Manager, FHA, VA, USDA, Conv

Pam, this is the quality of post our community needs to attract new citizens!  Great job.

Can you use your own bicycles or do you have to rent them?

In your opinion, could the family have ridden both directions (maybe go uphill first and coast back) or is the shuttle ride pretty much a necessity?

How long did the ride take you?

Thanks!

Jul 09, 2008 08:01 AM #5
Rainmaker
253,935
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

Michael, You can use your own Mountain Bikes and equipment.  Be sure to have a very good light for your bike or helmet.  There is absolutely NO light in those tunnels.  It is as dark as dark an get.

If all of us were in better shape I am sure we could have gone both directions.  We saw families with small children and people our age doing it.  You would probably want to take a lot of rest stops.  You would want to do that anyway because of all of the beautiful vantage points and Historical Information Boards along the way.

We were told it is about a 2 hr casual downhill ride.  However, we left home at 9:00 am and got to Lookout Ski area to load our bikes and helmets around 10:00 am.  Then we drove to the Trail Entrance. We made it back to Coeur d'Alene (Wolf Lodge Inn for dinner) at 4:30 pm.   Granted, we took our time and looked at everything!  And, we had to wait about 20 minutes for the next Buss to drive us and our bikes back to the 1st tunnel (1.8 miles of really dark and wet tunnel).  We had to ride through it again to get to the parking lot to reload our bikes and deliver them back to Lookout.

You would probably save at least an hour by using your own bikes.  And more if you ride faster.

Going both ways is definitely an ALL day ride (unless you are an avid mountain biker). You would want to get to the Trail in the early morning (you would also see more wildlife that way).   

Pam

Jul 09, 2008 08:28 AM #6
Rainmaker
253,935
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

Michael,

I have now posted the Trail Pass, Shuttle and Rental info at the end of the blog.  I hope that doesn't break any rules. Let me know if it does. Thanks, Pam

Jul 09, 2008 10:18 AM #7
Rainmaker
45,529
Michael Mullin
Caliber Home Loans NMLS 15622, Originating loans in CA, OR and WA. - Bend, OR
NMLS 11911 - Branch Manager, FHA, VA, USDA, Conv

Pam, I'm done slapping hands for rule breaking for today!  I have to get back to work telling prospective borrower's "NO."  Seems like that's all I'm doing these days.

Jul 09, 2008 10:44 AM #8
Rainmaker
253,935
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

Mike,  I hear ya loud and clear.  It's very also very hard to explain to a seller why the can't get 2005's price for their home in 2008. We'll get through it.  We made it through the mid 90's, even if it means working twice as hard and twice the hours.

 

Jul 10, 2008 06:11 AM #9
Rainmaker
45,529
Michael Mullin
Caliber Home Loans NMLS 15622, Originating loans in CA, OR and WA. - Bend, OR
NMLS 11911 - Branch Manager, FHA, VA, USDA, Conv

I already issued the first "no" today - prospect owns a home in Post Falls.  They have a $269k loan from Beneficial.  I'm not even sure how that  was possible because they paid $188k in 2004.  The home is worth maybe $210k.

Guess they are stuck with their 9% loan for now.

Jul 10, 2008 06:38 AM #10
Rainmaker
253,935
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

Michael,  You just hit the nail on the head...   This is what we are all dealing with.

Over appraised refi's in 2005+/-.  Even I can't believe what some of my Seller's were able to refi at! Now they are suffering because they already took all their equity and then some.   

Then there are the buyers that took those adjustable/variable 1-3% interest, 0 to Low down loans, etc., etc.  Fortunately, I was able to talk all of my Buyers out of doing those loans, I was able to explain to them what they were actually agreeing to.  Knowing how they actually worked scared them enough that they stayed away from them.  

Unfortunately those that took those loans or refi's and have to sell now... and didn't put much down... or did one of those Interest Only Loans (Especially those that allowed them to pay only 1-3%); have to come to closing with cash.  It's either that or short sale, try to renegotiate their loan (some lenders are actually cooperating with that),  or let it foreclose. 

All of this just makes your and my jobs much harder.

Jul 10, 2008 07:15 AM #11
Rainer
56,130
-- Casey Brischle
Columbia Bank - Spokane, WA
Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional

This look slike too much fun!  I can't wait to hit this trail!

Jul 10, 2008 07:53 AM #12
Ambassador
528,858
Mirela Monte
Buyers' Choice Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

This is an awesome post!  Congratulations on a featured post with the TravelingRainers.  Thank you for your very worthy contribution!

Jul 14, 2008 11:22 AM #13
Rainmaker
253,935
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

Mirela,  I am very new to blogging, activerain and localism so this is an honor and serves as great motivation to keep growing and learning on Activerain.

Pam

 

Jul 14, 2008 06:04 PM #14
Rainmaker
152,385
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

Great photos, great explination of what you were doing and you deserve to be featured.

I can learn a lot from you

Jul 15, 2008 02:10 AM #15
Rainmaker
253,935
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

Terri,

Thanks, I have added that information.  I know you will enjoy it.   Friends of ours came to visit over the weekend and also biked the Trail of the Hiawatha.  They said they would love to come back and ride it both ways.

Pam

Jul 18, 2008 08:00 AM #16
Ambassador
1,536,930
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Pam, What a great story to share and who wouldn't enjoy reading it. The photos are terrific and really do speak so loudly about what a beautiful area it is. I had a Seller that had moved there and feel in love with the place and I can sure see why.

Thanks you for sharing this and being a part of our group that is all about the consumer. You add a flair that is unmistakable and truly can capture ones imagination. Well done.

Jul 18, 2008 08:34 AM #17
Rainmaker
412,982
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker

Pam, what a great day.  I was riding right along with you until you showed that trestle picture.  YIKES!  That is scary looking!!  Kudos to you for making the trek.

Jul 18, 2008 03:57 PM #18
Rainmaker
253,935
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

I really can't tell you why this is not on the State, County, City of Localism.  It meets all the criteria but they never posted it.  There are still posts on there from over 6+months ago but this current one... NOT there.    I have asked why but no one can tell me.    It is very diheartening when you take the time to create a Blog that is perfect for Localism and they don't even bother to post it in their State, County or City areas.

Trail of the Hiawatha "STRIPE" - It's worth it! - Another Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Adventure

Anyway, thanks for asking.

Pam

Jul 24, 2008 09:28 AM #19
Rainer
179,676
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Pam, I hope that you know that this is now in Localism.  For whatever reason, it is not on the front page of the county, but you have plenty that are.  It comes up on Page 2 of your posts when a user clicks the My Blog button.

Jul 31, 2008 04:01 PM #20
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
253,935

Pam Jank

Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro
As me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information