Coeur d'Alene

Hiking Trails on Mineral Ridge with Surprising Views

Mineral Ridge Trail and Scenic Area has incredible views of Lake Coeur d’Alene in Northern Idaho. A must-see National Recreation Trail hike!

Mineral Ridge is a Scenic Area that serves as the trailhead for a National Recreation Trail. Located just east of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho this destination offers great hiking for locals and visitors alike.

Looking for more parks, hikes, beaches, and other ideas for your vacation? Check out this big list of things to do in Coeur d’Alene or press the button below.

When choosing an adventure in Coeur d’Alene this weekend, we were looking for an easy to moderate hike with good spots to eat lunch.

This hiking tail was exactly what we were looking for.

The Mineral Ridge National Scenic Trail Information

The Mineral Ridge Trail is a 3.3-mile hiking loop in Northern Idaho with amazing views of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Quick Facts

  • Location: Google Maps
  • Trail Map: BLM Map
  • Trail Guide: BLM Guide
  • Trail Length: 3.3-miles
  • Elevation Gain: 660-feet
  • Average Hike Time: 3-hours
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Parking: Free at Trailhead
  • Dogs: Allowed On-Leash
  • Mountain Bikes: Allowed
  • Bathrooms: At Trailhead
Hiking Trails on Mineral Ridge

The Trailhead

Located just east of Coeur d’Alene, ID you’ll find the trailhead of this beautiful and straightforward hike.

If you’ve heard of the Tubbs Hill Hike right in downtown Coeur d’Alene, then you’ll want to know that this one is going to require a slightly longer drive to the trailhead.

There is plenty of parking available on arrival and while the lot might be full on a nice summer day, you should be able to find room.

After getting out of the car, you can’t miss the trailhead. In fact, this is one of the most well-marked trails we’ve ever hiked!

Mineral Ridge Trailhead

The Scenic Area at Mineral Ridge

Whether you’re just finishing a hike or need a peaceful place for lunch the Mineral Ridge Scenic Area is a great place to be.

This area includes great amenities such as picnic tables, shelters, bathrooms, and parking.

Mineral Ridge Scenic Area

Our Hiking Experience at Mineral Ridge Trail

Since we were looking for an easier hike for the day, Mineral Ridge was exactly what we were expecting and hoping for: a mid-day adventure with a scenic lunch.

Check out this awesome BLM guide, which associates each trail marker with interesting facts and trivia. This will provide some great detail on the history and nature of the hiking trails as you go.

Trail Conditions

The trail conditions were perfect without any washout or difficult surfaces. There was the occasional stump or rock to watch out for.

But all-in-all, between the soft dirt and well-marked trail, we couldn’t have asked for a better trail.

Mineral Ridge Trail Views

The Beginning of the Hike

As the hike begins you’ll hit one or two switchbacks and then, just before marker number 2, you’ll come to your first split. We recommend taking the right fork, not only to follow the intended route as marked but also to avoid hikers coming down the other side.

The next section of the trail, between markers 3 & 15, was well shaded by the beautiful surrounding forest.

Caribou Cabin at Mineral Ridge

As you continue to climb, there will eventually be a second fork. At this point, you’ll want to stay on Mineral Ridge Trail.

The other direction is the Wilson M. M. & M. Trail which eventually leads to a forest service road after about another mile. Since we didn’t do it, I can’t speak to the views on Wilson Trail.

Wilson and Mineral Ridge Hiking Trails

Finally, just beyond that sign at the fork in the road, you’ll find Caribou Cabin. If you’re lucky enough to be the first ones there, this would make a great lunch spot!

Unfortunately, when we arrived someone had already claimed this lookout shelter as their own. So we kept moving.

Mineral Ridge Caribou Cabin

Silver Tip Views at Mineral Ridge Trail

For the best views of Lake Coeur d’Alene, keep walking past Caribou Cabin and you end up at the Silver Tip.

This spot was our favorite of the whole hike. A bench overlooked the lake and we chose this spot to eat our lunch.

This is the high point of the trail and it’s all downhill from there.

Mineral Ridge Lake Coeur d'Alene Views

Mineral Ridge Winter Hikes

Yes, you read that right. Check out beautiful views of Lake Coeur d’Alene with a coat of snow this winter.

We haven’t done this ourselves, but you can read this Mineral Ridge Winter Hike article from the Spokesman Review for more info.

Not only that, but you are likely to spot bald eagles which frequent this area during the colder season.

While snowshoes might be necessary, because the area is a popular winter destination you may get away without. Just remember to be careful.

Lake Coeur d’Alene in the Winter is truly a beautiful site.

Common Questions

How long does it take to hike Mineral Ridge?

About 2-hours depending on pace and experience.

Are dogs allowed at Mineral Ridge?

Yes, dogs are allowed on-leash.