Needles Route Trail

  

Looking Toward Needles Route Trail

Needles Route Trail - The trail follows a ridge for most of its length providing views of the surrounding area. The trail intersects the Dollar Creek Ridge Trail, 6 miles from its southern trailhead. 

Dollar Creek Ridge Trail is open to non-motorized uses only. The southern access point is marked by a sign reading ""2 GOLD FORK ROCK and GOLD FORK L.O. 1.""

The designated trail begins as an old road that looks passable by car, but becomes treacherous at about .25 mile and four-wheel drive is necessary to go any further.

The road is quite nice for hikers, horseback riders, and OHV users as it climbs gradually for two miles. A small stream separates the road from the trail and must be crossed to continue on the route. Blazes are everywhere along the trail as it climbs more steeply over sandy granite soil and bare rocks on its way to Gold Fork Rock, .5 mile beyond the road's end.

Passing the Rock, the trail continues north past smaller rock outcrops that tower above the trees. About 3.5 miles from Gold Fork Rock the trail intersects with the Dollar Creek Ridge Trail. The intersection is marked by signs, but care must be taken to stay on the correct route. As the intersection is approached from the south, the trail branches into three: to the west and east is Dollar Creek Ridge, and the north is Needles Route.

Be sure to take the middle trail that dips down a small gulley and back up again to continue on its way to the north.  Nearing the north end of the trail, blazes on trees plus numerous faint trails make things confusing. Follow the most obvious and/or newest blazes tree by tree. This should lead to a small alpine pond near the base of three 8,000 ft.+ peaks, including Square Top.

Basically, this is the end of Needles Route because hiking in any direction except south at this point brings the users to a ridge which is the boundary with the Payette National Forest. There are no signs marking the end of the trail.

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Cascade, Idaho

General Information

Directions:

From Cascade, Idaho, Go north along State Highway 55 for 0.5 miles to the intersection with Forest Highway 22, also known as the Warm Lake Highway. 

Turn right onto the Warm Lake Highway and travel approximately 12 miles to Forest Service (FS) Road 497. 

Turn left onto FS Road 497 and drive 5.4 miles to the unsigned trailhead.


Directions:

From Cascade, travel north along State Highway 55 for 0.5 miles to the intersection with Forest Highway 22 also known as the Warm Lake Highway. 

Turn right onto the Warm Lake Highway and travel approximately 12 miles to Forest Service (RD) Road 497. 

Turn left onto FS Rd 497 and drive 5.4 miles to the unsigned trailhead.


General Notes:

The Needles Route Trailhead is a one-acre signed site with no amenities. It serves South Fork Gold Fork (#113) and Needles Route (#115) trails. 


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Hiking

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Horse Riding & Camping

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OHV Riding & Camping

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OHV Trail Riding

Check on your Motor Vehicle Use Map for OHV riding opportunities.

General Info:

Directions

From Cascade, Idaho, Go north along State Highway 55 for 0.5 miles to the intersection with Forest Highway 22, also known as the Warm Lake Highway. 

Turn right onto the Warm Lake Highway and travel approximately 12 miles to Forest Service (FS) Road 497. 

Turn left onto FS Road 497 and drive 5.4 miles to the unsigned trailhead.


Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Areas & Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
9.5 Miles

  Latitude : 
44.6561

  Longitude : 
-115.83389

  Elevation : 
7154 - 8080

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/boise/recreation/ohv/recarea/?recid=5158&actid=93