Did this hike about 3 weeks ago. You will definitely want to bring your snow shoes as we found out, the snow knee deep in some areas. As previously stated, hike has moderate incline with switch backs throughout, but man is that vista at the top worth it!
The service roads to get up are a bit dicey if you don't have a 4x4.
Today, the trail was fantastic! I brought snowshoes, but didn't need them. I climbed all of the way to the top with ice cleats on my hiking boots. The snow on the trail has been well packed by snow shoes. I saw an elderly couple with only hiking boots and hiking poles, who seemed to be managing just fine. The snow on the mountain and trees looked magical.
I did this trail today, on a frosty December afternoon. There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground. It was a good workout getting up and back, but manageable. I used hiking poles, and saved myself from several falls. I saw deer near the trail head.
Mineral Ridge has some very difficult terrain that can require you to take frequent rests. Thankfully is has several flat areas with benches if you feel this need. Once you reach the top however you will be greatly rewarded with a beautiful view of the back side of Couer d' Alene Lake. It's not an easy trail so make sure you get plenty of rest before hiking this hill.
Mineral ridge is a another good place is to go that is relatively close to town. The trails are in good shape but do get pretty muddy if its been raining. Awesome view of the lake at the top + a picnic table. Its a shame that the freeway runs right through the awesome view.
One of the most beautiful and rewarding short day hikes around this area. It is short enough for kids and pets and just long enough for it to be a challenge for them. The waterfalls, the pristine lake, the mountainsides of huckleberries.... What more could you ask for?! The lake is so gorgeous, but oh so COLD! A wonderful day adventure, or a fun beginning backpacking trip.