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.
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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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
About 2-hours depending on pace and experience.
Yes, dogs are allowed on-leash.