It's been called one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country. Winding through nine tunnels and over seven high steel trestles, the 15-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 1.66 miles 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.
The first 13 miles of the route were opened to the public on May 29, 1998. When finished, a bicyclist will be able to ride the Route of the Hiawatha between St. Regis, Montana and Pearson, Idaho. Once again, people will be able to travel the Milwaukee Road over the Bitterroot Mountains, soaking up the rich history and enjoying the breathtaking scenery. MORE INFORMATION...
At a Glance
||www.ridethehiawatha.com for more information.
You can ride or hike the trail any time between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from its' opening date (generally Memorial Day weekend) to its' closing date (usually the first weekend in October).
|Rentals & Guides:
||Contact Lookout Pass Ski Area for bike and equipment rentals. (208) 744-1301
Adult day use: $9.00, Child (age 6-13) day use: $6.00; Adult shuttle bus: $9.00, Child shuttle bus: $6.00; Adult season pass: $25, Child season pass: $12
||July, August, September
||Wallace, Idaho; St. Regis, Montana
||Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area (208) 744-1301 www.skilookout.com
The Hiawatha Rail-Trail can be accessed via Wallace or St. Maries, Idaho or from Montana via the Taft exit off of Interstate 90.
Taft, Montana Exit:
Take Interstate 90 Exit 5 in Montana (Taft exit) and go south on Forest Road 506 (Rainy Creek Road). Follow Forest Road 506 for about 2 miles to the East Portal Tralhead of the St. Paul Pass Tunnel. For those who do not want to ride through the 1.8 mile tunnel go approximately 2.5 miles further on FR 506 over Roland Pass to the Roland Trailhead
Through Wallace, Idaho:
Driving from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho take Exit 61 off I-90 and follow the I-90 Business Loop to the Bank St. intersection. Turn right and follow King St. through town. King Street will turn into Forest Road 456. Follow Forest Road 456 20 miles to the trailhead at Pearson, just past Forest Road 326.
Driving from Montana take Exit 62 off I-90 and follow the I-90 Business Loop (Bank Street) through town. Continue straight through the intersection at Second St. The road will turn south into King Street. King Street will turn into Forest Road 456. Follow Forest Road 456 20 miles to the trailhead at Pearson, just past Forest Road 326.
Through St. Maries, Idaho:
Driving from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho go east on I-90 to the Rose Lake (State Highway 3) exit. Follow State Highway 3 to Forest Highway 50 (just north of St. Maries). Follow Forest Highway 50 47 miles to Forest Road 456 (just past Avery, Idaho). Turn north on Forest Road 456 and follow it about 9 miles to the trailhead at Pearson.
Driving from Plummer, Idaho follow State Highway 5 through St. Maries to State Highway 3. Turn north on State Highway 3 for a very short distance to Forest Highway 50. Follow Forest Highway 50 47 miles to Forest Road 456 (just past Avery, Idaho). Turn north on Forest Road 456 and follow it about 9 miles to the trailhead at Pearson.