This trail IS shared with mountain bikes and motorcycles. But if you want a decent trail near Coeur d'Alene without having to travel out of town, this one has plenty of good views that can make up for the disruption. Overall not a bad rainy day hike.
Mineral Ridge is my go-to trail for a quick communion with nature. This is a well-maintained trail with an outstanding parking area, restroom facilities, and a picnic area. I hike this trail all year round, including in the snow. I did it this morning in the rain.
I have noticed an increasing amount of dog feces along the trail lately. There was even a little blue plastic bag of dog feces that some inconsiderate person had left on a bench. (I understand that dogs are animals, but their owners should not be. Please demonstrate some basic social morality, and clean up after your precious mutt.)
Aside from abundant piles of dog feces, this is an outstanding trail and a rewarding hike.
First day was raining and foggy, couldn't see when we actually got to the lake. Trail was very accessible to the lake, but not all the way around. we blazed our own path most of the way. Weather cleared by evening and second day was crystal clear. The fall colors were picturesque.
The description of the trails primary use is incorrect. The primary use of this areas trail system is for motorized recreation and has been for about 30 years. Please keep this in mind when you visit this area. It is a 4-star area for motorized and mechanized recreation. 1 star for hiking.
Mineral Ridge is my go-to trail in the CDA area. I hike this year round, even in the snow. There is a well-maintained parking area. Access is year round, except during very heavy snow. The trail ascends Mineral Ridge via switch backs, which have a moderate incline, but nothing too strenuous. (I hike this regularly with a 74-year-old buddy.) There are some nice views on this hike. The grand prize is certainly the wonderful view of Coeur d'Alene Lake. There is a nice picnic area at the trail head, with rest rooms.
Lone Lake Trail is a very nice day hike. I have done it in the spring, summer, and autumn. In the spring time, you can expect to cross a few seasonal streams, and see considerably more water over the water fall compared to other times of the year. I just completed a late September hike. The color of the leaves and the reflection in the lake were magical.
If this is your first hike here, please be advised that Lone Lake and Stevens Lake share a parking area near their trail heads. For the trail to Lone Lake, there is a bit of uncertainty as to where the access road ends and the trail begins. I strongly recommend studying the aerial map carefully before hiking this trail.
You have to love late September for the trails along I-90 in Idaho and Montana - the colors are amazing. Simple overnight in the bowl above Lone Lake and that other long pond-ish thing. Air was clean, trail was well-maintained (except around Long Pond), and we had the place to ourselves.
TRAIL - easy to get to with any vehicle, and the trail head is well-marked a little to the right of the trail leading to Stevens. The trail is fairly short, but it's steep enough to keep you breathing. We decided to camp all the way up the valley, and you'll find the trail to/around Long Pond is a little sketchy. Lots of game trails that have you on/off the trail quite a bit. Keep going to the left of the long pond and you'll find your way into a nice open drainage heading to the top. We recorded our route down today, and it marks the nice camp site at the top.
LAKE - pretty nice lake with a decent bit of camping to the left when you first hit the lake. BIG fire pit at what is called, "Camp Sleepy Dog'. Right, or West side of the lake has a smaller site with a little fire pit, and this is the way to keep going if you want to go up.
SURROUNDINGS - Lots of water along the trail, so if you are staying the night, hike light on water. The plants this time of year are a yellow/orange/red rainbow; simply breathtaking. Saw a herd of 8-ish elk making light work of the crazy slope on the east side of the valley. The camp site all the way up in the bowl was magical. A little creek runs over a small rise to the west of the camp site, and it will remind you of something the Shire might have. I took a good number of pictures, enjoying Lightroom's new merge feature for doing panoramas with larger cameras. Beautiful place.
OVERALL - great overnight, and super happy with the site at the end of the line. We tried to find a way to the ridge from the bowl, but it seems to have us going side hill a long way back to find a ridge to climb up. We'll take it from the top next time. Late season is gorgeous.
Steep trail but easy to access and connects to the Canfield Mountain trail system. I did not see a river or any water this time of year, however, at the top of the hike you have views of Hayden and Couer d'Alene lakes. Trails are maintained and easy to find.
Trail has deep ruts due to the mountain and motor bikes. Steep for 1st mile but opens to a flat area with views of Lake CDA and valley. Easy to miss the trail back down- it is hidden by trees and not well marked. We missed the trail down and ended up a couple miles off course. Miles of trails and endless options and less people the farther in you hike. No water source- be sure to pack plenty of water on a hot day.