West Mountain Trail - (Emmett)


West Mountain Trail

view large map


West Mountain Trail near Blue Lake

West Mountain Trail - The trail begins in a valley, crosses several creeks, and passes through meadows and forests as it gradually ascends West Mountain Ridge.

The trail passes Snowbank Mountain, Jacob's Ladder, Hangman's Tree and Tripod Lookout, providing panoramic views of Round Valley, Long Valley, Smith's Ferry and Cascade.

The trail soon crosses Poison Creek and passes through several bogs.

Within 2.5 miles, the trail crosses Squaw Creek for the first time, and then climbs steeply through a meadow.

As it reaches a tributary of Squaw Creek, it changes direction abruptly from southeast to east.

Recreationists should watch for a large arrow cut in a tree on the west side of the trail.

The trail is bordered by rock cairns and passes through a meadow, ascends a small hill, and passes the signed intersection of the Wilson Corrals Trail.

The trail soon reaches the northern end of Wilson Meadows, which is marshy in early spring.

At the southern edge of Wilson Meadows, the West Mountain Trail is intersected by two other trails. The trail gradually gains elevation as it travels south toward Jacob's Ladder.

Within a mile and southeast of Jacob's Ladder, the trail passes Hangman's Tree, which is signed in a prominent saddle north of Tripod Lookout.

Within a half mile, the trail passes the signed Renwyck trailhead and shortly intersects a short, steep trail to Tripod Lookout.

As it gradually descends, the trail splits with the West Mountain trail forking east and the unsigned Joe's Creek Trail forking south.

An unblazed section of the trail overlaps an unsigned, well-traveled road for a quarter mile, enters the forest again, and within a mile intersects an old, narrow roadbed.

The trail continues southwest and the old roadbed forks east.

About a mile from Forest Service (FS) Road 644, the trail parallels a narrow stream, and then ascends steeply to a registration box and trailhead sign where West Mountain Trail ends.

At a Glance

Rentals & Guides: Click here to download a "Print to Go" guide for West Mountain Trail.
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Emmett, Idaho
Water: None

General Information


LOCATION- There are two access points for this trail.  The section of trail between Wilson Meadows and Tripod Lookout will be difficult to find because the main trail is bisected by cow paths.  The trail south of Wilson Meadows is grazed by cattle in the summer and fall.

ACCESS #1- From Smith’s Ferry on State Highway 55, just past Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, travel west on Forest Service (FS) Road 644 for 2.5 miles to the intersection of FS Road 626.  Go northwest on FS Road 626 for about 20 miles to Sagehen Reservoir where the gravel road changes to pavement and continue on the paved road to the intersection with FS Road 609.  Travel 2 miles north on FS Road 609.  At FS Road 653, go north for about 12 miles to the intersection of FS Road 625.  Go west on FS Road 625 for approximately 8 miles to the signed intersection of FS Road 625G, which is on the north side of the road about 1/8 of a mile west of where 625 crosses Squaw Creek.  Squaw Creek is identified with a sign.  While paralleling Squaw Creek, the unblazed trail overlaps 625G through a logged forest.  Within a mile, the road gradually diminishes and the trail enters an unlogged forest. 


ACCESS #2- From Smith’s Ferry on State Highway 55, just past Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, travel west on FS Road 644 for 2.5 miles to the intersection of FS Road 626.  Travel northwest on FS Road 626 about 5 miles to a trail sign on the north side of 626.  Go northwest at the trail directional sign about 500 feet to a trailhead sign and registration box on the north side of the unsigned road.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Horse Riding & Camping

Show detail SHOW

OHV Riding & Camping

Show detail SHOW
Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
16.1 Miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 


photo of cartoon about myths about bats

10-17-2019 Sharing your space - Forest friends may share your rental cabin! Link opens in a Pdf Document

A photo of a map with photos on it to view a location

USDA Forest Service - Interactive Visitor Map Link opens in a new window

Discover Idaho Trail Maps

Idaho Dept. of Parks and Recreation - Idaho Trail Maps Link opens in a new window

A photo of a flyer about gate closures

Seasonal gate & road closure schedule for Idaho City RD. Gates open June 15 and close September 15. Click HERE for more information.

Photo of washed out road

Boise National Forest Interactive Road and Trail Closure Map- Check with the Districts if you have further questions Link opens in a new window

Avenza logo for app users

USDA Interactive Forest Service Maps and MVUMs Available for Smart-Phone Users with Avenza App. Link opens in a new window

EM - Family getting ready to catch a fish at Trail Creek Campground

Reminder - Special Order and map - Camping limit is 14 days Link opens in a Pdf Document