The 9 Best Hikes Near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

best hikes near coeur d alene idaho

If you’ve never gone hiking near Coeur d’Alene before, you’re in for a real treat. Located in the northern part of the Idaho Panhandle, around thirty minutes away from Washington and two hours from the border with Canada.

Coeur d’Alene is a neat little tourist town consisting of a classy downtown area, a nice resort, a beautiful blue lake (which also gives Coeur d’Alene its nickname of the Lake City), a nearly unlimited number of campgrounds, and literally hundreds of miles worth of hiking trails.

Trust me, I know all about it. Considering the fact that Coeur d’Alene is my hometown and I’ve lived here most of my life, I can safely say that I know a little bit about the area. And right now, I’m going to reveal to you my favorite hiking trails that the Lake City has to offer. 

Presented in alphabetical order, here are the 9 best hikes near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho:

1. Bernard Peak Trail 

The Bernard Peak Trail is easily one of the best local trails in the Coeur d’Alene area. Located near Farragut State Park, you first access the trail by going to Scout Trail and walking from there.

As a whole, the Bernard Peak Trail is easy to do, with only a moderate but also consistent climb that never once gets terrible steep. There are a few creek crossings and switchbacks, but that’s really as difficult as the hike gets. 

The biggest reason to do the hike is the rewarding views of valleys in the Farragut State Park and Lake Pend Oreille off into the distance near Sandpoint.

Distance: 4.8 miles

Elevation: 1,940 feet

Difficulty: Easy

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Trailhead Location

2. Blue Creek Bay Trail

Blue Creek Bay Trail is located near the Wallace Forest Conversation Area. Before venturing out into the trail itself, you will find a boat launch and a picnic area. 

The first mile or so of this hike is incredibly easy, as the trail remains very level with virtually no elevation gain. However, after you cross the East Yellowstone Trail mark the trail will become noticeably steeper and will climb for the rest of the duration. 

Along the way, you will likely spot a variety of Idaho wildlife including whitetail deer, turkeys, and a variety of different kinds of birds and squirrels. 

Distance: 2.4 miles

Elevation: 666 feet

Difficulty: Intermediate 

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Trailhead Location

3. Canfield Mountain Loop

Canfield Mountain Loop is a very straightforward hike that is also popular with four wheelers, mountain bikers, and motorcyclists. Located on Canfield Mountain, which overlooks the city of Coeur d’Alene and is visible or partially visible from virtually anywhere in town, this hike will be one of the busiest that you find in the area.

The trailhead to Canfield Mountain Loop begins at the southern Canfield OHV. You’ll travel a mile before reaching Trail A, which will wander on until taking you to Trail 3 and Trail 6. Parts of this hike are rather steep, but as a whole Canfield Mountain is a hike that most people are physically capable of doing. 

Distance: 5.6 miles

Elevation: 1,052 feet

Difficulty: Intermediate

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Trailhead Location

hiker with view of Lake Pend Oreille

4. Chilco Mountain Trail

Chilco Mountain Trail is located near Athol, a small town to the north of Coeur d’Alene on your way to Sandpoint, which in turn is by Lake Pend Oreille. As an out and back hike, there is no loop with this hike, so you can hike as far as you want in before having to turn around.

The Chilco trail will begin at an old logging road with a very small parking area; your odds of encountering other people on this trail are comparably slim in contrast to many other hiking trails in Coeur d’Alene. 

There is a moderate ascent with this hike all the way to the peak, but it’s not excruciatingly difficult. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with some spectacular views of northern Idaho and an old fire tower at the top that you can check out. 

Distance: 7.4 miles

Elevation: 2,000 feet

Difficulty: Intermediate

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Trailhead Location

5. Ermine Ridge Trail

The Ermine Ridge Trail is located in the Idaho Panhandle Forests and truly offers you one of the very best scenery views of any trails in the northern Idaho area. However, you’ll have to work hard to get to those views, because this is also one of the more difficult trails in the Coeur d’Alene area with numerous steep sidehills, especially along the descent. 

The Ermine Ridge Trail is located in a very wooded areas, so you will need to hike a ways to get to the ultimate scenery areas with the stunning vistas. Most the good views will come from the descent; and with over 2,000 feet of descent vs. the roughly 200 feet of ascent, this is definitely a descending trail. 

Distance: 4.4 miles

Elevation: 198 feet

Difficulty: Difficult 

Learn more here

Trailhead Location

6. Independence Creek Trail 

Independence Creek Trail is notable for mainly one thing: the large number of streams that you will get to cross over. Located near Pinehurst, another small town a few miles outside of Coeur d’Alene, Independence Creek is a longer hike than many of the others on this list (assuming that you choose to go the entire way). 

However, the entire hike for the most part is very pleasant with a gentle slope along creeks for around the first three quarters of a mile. From there, the trail will become a bit more steep, but is still a lot of fun. Take note that due to the heavy presence of creeks and moist ground, you should be prepared for your feet to get a little wet. 

Distance: 14.3 miels 

Elevation: 2,029 feet

Difficulty: Intermediate 

Learn more here

Trailhead Location

mineral ridge trail hike near coeur d alene idaho

7. Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail

Mineral Ridge National Recreational Trail is easily one of the most popular hiking trails in Coeur d’Alene. A nearly three mile round trip hike, reaching the summit of Mineral Ridge will give you some of the best flat out views of Coeur d’Alene Lake with the town of Coeur d’Alene itself visible out in the distance.

Beginning at the trailhead, which offers you free parking, you’ll then climb up the ridge through densely wooded area. Eventually the trail will split into two directions: one will take you to an old mine, while the other will take you to cabin called Caribou Cabin at the top, which offers you the views of the lake.

Most hikers like to go to the mine itself before doubling back and heading up to the cabin, and then completing the loop.

Distance: 2.8 miles 

Elevation: 559 feet 

Difficulty: Intermediate

Learn more here

Trailhead Location

8. Trail D

Trail D is a bit more of a difficult hike, beginning at East Canfield Butte and then carrying you up into the Stacel saddle. 

The reason that Trail D is a bit more of a difficult hike is because of the fact that it’s a technical hike, with lots of steep places. climbs, hard descents, and rocks to climb over. But along the way, you’ll be given some nice views of Hayden Lake and the towns of Hayden and Coeur d’Alene.  All in all, if you want a hike in the Coeur d’Alene area that will truly challenge you, this is the one to go to. 

Distance: 6.4 miles

Elevation: 1,490 feet

Difficulty: Difficult 

Learn more here

Trailhead Location

9. Tubbs Hill

If you’re looking for an easy and thoroughly enjoyable hike in Coeur d’Alene, Tubb’s Hill for you. Be forewarned that this hike is incredibly popular with tourists and locals alike, so you can expect to see quite a few people on most days.

Still, Tubbs Hill will be well worth a hike regardless of whether you are just passing through Coeur d’Alene or plan on staying for awhile. There is preciously little elevation gain and the entire hike is very easy to do, and runs right alongside Coeur d’Alene Lake (with plenty of cliff jumping points if you are into that).

The hike will loop around right back to where you started, and along the way, you may even catch glimpses of bald eagles.

Distance: 2 Miles

Elevation: 252 Feet

Difficulty: Easy

Learn more here

Trailhead Location

Coeur d’Alene really does have a lot to offer you when it comes to hiking trails.

The trails can vary strongly when it comes to difficulty level, but all are the same when it comes to offering you truly scenic views of the Rocky Mountains, lush green forests, access to lakes (there are also Fernan Lake and Hayden Lake in addition to Coeur d’Alene Lake) and the opportunity to view North American wildlife up close such as turkey, deer, and moose.

The area truly is one of the most beautiful in the inland Northwest.

When you’re done hiking for the day, you can then pay the downtown area a visit where there are numerous restaurants, bars, stores, shopping centers, and the resort for you to check out as well. Alternatively, you can go and spend sometime in the park next to the lake, and is a quick walk from the downtown area.

(featured image: CCDavid Taylor / Flickr)


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