Map of the Route of the Hiawatha

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Route of the Hiawatha

Route of the Hiawatha Idaho map area

Route of the Hiawatha

LENGTH:

15 miles

SURFACE:

unpaved

COMMUNITIES:

East Portal, Pearson

HIGHLIGHTS:

rail trail, 10 tunnels, 7 high trestles, 1.66-mile St. Paul Pass Tunnel, forests, remote location, mountain views

The Route of the Hiawatha is a 15-mile long unpaved pathway that is located in the mountains of the Idaho and Montana state border. The trail follows a historic railroad right-of-way that was constructed to get through the mountains. The highlights include the 1.66-mile long St. Paul Pass Tunnel and 9 other tunnels, sky high trestle bridges and beautiful views of the surrounding peaks. The trail is owned by the Lookout Pass Ski Area and there is a fee for using the trail.

Many trail users choose to start at the East Portal of the tunnel and ride downhill to Pearson then take a shuttle back to where they started. More hearty souls ride the route round-trip and climb the 1000-foot elevation change back up to the tunnel.

Conditions

The Route of the Hiawatha is unpaved for the entire route but is well maintained. The trail is open for hikers and bike riding. Mountain bikes would be best suited for the unpaved trail. There is a fee for using the trail and helmets and proper lighting are required. Please visit the official Route of the Hiawatha Website for details about fees, rules and reservations. Shuttles are available and are equipped to transport bicycles. The trail is only open from late spring to early fall. Bicycles are availble for rent.

The elevation at the tunnel is 5,161 feet.

End Points

The northwest end of the Route of the Hiawatha is located at East Portal which is 2 miles south if Interstate 90 in Montana and can be reached from Exit 5.

The southeast end of the trail is located near the intersection of N. Fork St. Joe River Road and NF-326.


Resources

Following are links to official off-site resources to find out more details about the Route of the Hiawatha in Northern Idaho