Best trails in Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, Idaho

29 Reviews
Explore the most popular trails in Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nestled beside the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho, this 2,774 acre refuge provides diverse habitats for a large variety of wildlife including moose, elk, deer, bear, otter, bald eagles, and migratory waterfowl such as mallards, northern pintail, and teal. Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is located in Idaho's Panhandle approximately 20 miles south of the Canadian border and 5 miles west of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Established in 1964 as a migratory waterfowl refuge, Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for more than 220 species of birds, 45 species of mammals, and 22 species of fish. Wetlands, meadows, riparian forests and cultivated agricultural fields (for producing valuable wildlife food crops) are interspersed in the valley bottom adjacent to the west banks of the Kootenai River. Wetlands include open-water ponds, seasonal cattail-bulrush marshes, tree-lined ponds and rushing creeks. The western portion of the refuge ascends the foothills of the scenic Selkirk Mountains which consists of dense stands of coniferous trees and tranquil riparian forests. The refuge not only serves as valuable habitat for resident and migratory wildlife, but provides a nice stopping point for visitors to get out and enjoy some of the vast natural beauty Boundary County has to offer. The refuge offers all of the Big Six wildlife-dependent public uses which include hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education, and interpretation. The refuge has a 4.5 mile auto tour route and four hiking trails. No fees are charged to the public. The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset. The entrance gates open and close automatically about

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Map of trails in Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, Idaho
Park information
2,774 acres
(208) 267-3888
Top trails (2)
#1 - Deep Creek Trail
Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(25)
Length: 4.3 mi • Est. 1 h 47 m
#2 - Kootenai Refuge Loop
Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(4)
Length: 6.3 mi • Est. 2 h 31 m
Gravel road around the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. Road is maintained. Flat elevation. Nice ride to see the refuge and see birds along the way. When sharing the roadway with motor vehicles, the use of reflective materials, lights, helmets or flagging is recommended for safety on bikes, mobility equipment, and strollers. Accessibility: There may not be any designated handicapped-accessible spaces in the unpaved parking lot in the southeast end of the trail. There is at least 1 designated wheelchair-accessible parking spot with a striped access aisle at the Education Center at about the 1.5 mile mark along this route. The trail surface is gravel and asphalt and typically at least 10 feet wide. The estimated grade is mostly gentle (5% or less) except for steep (8 to 12%) uphill and downhill sections at 1.2 and 3.4 miles respectively when going clockwise. Wheelchair/mobility equipment or stroller users may need assistance in the steeper sections or to avoid them for safety. All-terrain tires or motorized equipment may be needed for the surface type and grade.Show more