Press Contact: Matt Sawyer
Office: 208-744-1301 x21
It’s Time To: RIDE THE HIAWATHA – A Scenic Mountain Bike Trail
Opening Day is May 22nd!
The Route of the Hiawatha – A Scenic Mountain Bike Trail that runs along the Old Milwaukee RR bed, opens on May 22nd!The trail is open 7 days a week through September 20th. Trail hours are 8:30 am to 5 pm (PST).
America’s greatest adventure begins high atop the Bitterroot Mountains along the Idaho/Montana border when you enter the long, dark and massive 1.66 mile long St. Paul/Taft Tunnel, built in 1908! When you emerge, you follow the historic rail trail which incorporates; 10 cavernous train tunnels and crosses 7 sky-high trestles. Riders and hikers will venture past sparkling mountain creeks; encounter deer, elk and moose; and enjoy endless views of the towering ID-MT Bitterroots. All this on a section of rail trail aptly described as “The Most Scenic Stretch of RR in the Country.”
The Trail is located midway between Spokane, WA and Missoula MT, yet garners guests attention from all across America and the globe. Guests, both local and international, start by visiting Lookout Pass Ski Area – getting off I-90 at exit 0 on the ID/MT line. Here they pick up trail passes, rental bikes, helmets, bright lights, maps, water and snacks, before traveling five miles east to Exit #5 in Taft, MT. From here it’s another two miles up a dirt road to the Trailhead where your first order of business is to pedal through the longest of the tunnels the St. Paul / Taft Tunnel. Look for a historical marker on the tunnel wall about half way through and learn which side ID or MT bored through the fastest, and how accurate they were in joining up in the middle. Remember all engineering was accomplished by hand, without the aid of computers.
The trail has been described as “The Crown Jewell of Rail-to-Trail Conservation in the Country”, and was chosen as a USA Today Top Ten Pick as well as being an inaugural inductee into the Rail-to-Trail Hall of Fame. This all downhill ride is appropriate for individuals and families of all ages. Children ages 5 and up, who know how to ride a bike, have indeed finished this trail on fixed speed bicycles with small tires – no small feat, but then again they are young.
What Makes this bike trail different: 15 mile all-downhill ride from Taft, MT to Pearson, ID, shuttle busses available to transport you and your bike back to the top, incredible RR history, majestic scenery including snow covered mountains, abundant wildlife, you’ll ride in two states crossing from MT into ID, one of the most unique Rails-to-Trails conversions in the country, 7 sky-high trestles, 10 dark tunnels which require powerful lights to ride through safely, a waterfall resting spot, 49 interpretive historical signs, and best of all – it’s all family and kid friendly. Learn more about rates, rental bikes, lights and history: www.RideTheHiawatha.com
Lookout Pass is easy to get to: Travel I-90 to Exit 0 on the ID/MT Line. We’re just 200 yards off the exit ramp.www.SkiLookout.com | Phone: 208.744.1301 | The Route of the Hiawatha Trailhead is another 5 miles East to MT exit #5 off I-90 and then two more miles up a dirt road to the East Portal of the long Taft Tunnel.
We understand these are trying times for some, yet people desperately want to get outside and enjoy nature and our beautiful surroundings with their family. We want you to know what our plan of action is regarding Covid-19, & what we expect of our guests. We all want to enjoy the trail in the safest way possible. Please review our Covid-19 plan here as we all have to do our part to insure we continue to recreate responsibly www.RideTheHiawatha.com/Covid-19
Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation area operates the Route of the Hiawatha under a special use permit from the USFS. A small usage fee is charged to all users: Trail passes are $13 for adults, and $9 for kids ages 5 to 12 years of age.
HIAWATHA VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNZgbvngelk
READ HISTORIC INTERPRETIVE SIGNS: http://www.RideTheHiawatha.com/Interpretive-Signs
HISTORY OF THE RR: http://www.RideTheHiawatha.com/History