Caribou Ridge National Recreation Trail

HARD 33 reviews

Caribou Ridge National Recreation Trail is a 9.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and birding and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.6 miles
2404 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



trail running





wild flowers


The trail is a 9.2 miles round trip out-and-back with great views of the Beauty Creek Campground & Lake Coeur d'Alene. Huckleberries bushes are along the trail. A creek (with heavy flow in the spring) must me crossed to get to the trail (seasonal). The construction of this trail was completed 1982. The trail is in good condition. The forest service classifies this trail as a Moderate Use trail. At points, the trail is narrow with steep drop offs to the side. The trail is steep in some places and wet weather can make the trail slick. This is a hiking only trail and is closed to motorcycle and horse use.

4 days ago

It’s a good ol’ hike in the trees, not much for views along the way though.

6 months ago

Please note that the trailhead is at a campground--very clean, picnic tables and a pit toilet--that has an $8 fee per vehicle for parking.
The trail is mostly shaded so even on a hot afternoon, hiking up was not uncomfortable. Well-maintained, great views, but as has been mentioned, the trail forks near the top, which can be confusing (take the right fork).

7 months ago

Great trail. The switchbacks take the steepness out of the initial climb. If you are a person that doesn't like heights, then you may not like the first 1 to 2 miles because it is very steep on the downhill side of the trail. I would say it is a more moderate rated than difficult trail.

trail running
7 months ago

My favorite hike in CDA nat'l forest so far! Very beautiful incline up... perfect for avid trail runners. I thought the lake views were pretty decent for such a hike. Lush green forest and anti-climactic peak. Definitely more than 9.6 round trip, if you go up to Mt CDA. Roughly 12.3mi or more if you roam around the top for lookouts. Not for people that don't like a steep ascent/descent at the beginning and end of your trail. I would personally rate this moderate.

8 months ago

Great hike.

8 months ago

This was a challenging but fun hike. There are not any spectacular views and you are sharing the trail with mountain bikers.

9 months ago

Grueling, yet really fun hike. The total mileage is closer to 12 miles though, and there is no vista point at the top of the mountain to see the Lake.

9 months ago

Had a great time on a rainy Saturday morning just me and my dog on the turn around the sun came out I really liked this hike some pretty beautiful forest this time of year and great views of the lake.

9 months ago

I'm awestruck every time I experience this beautiful trail, and the wonders it has to offer. The beginning felt as if it was an adventure in its own right, crossing over a downed tree semi-submerged over a wild and frigid creek.

During the winter months, the wild oasis nearly engulfs the entire tree-yet in the spring the water level is lowly enough to cross by foot. Though a narrow climb, you can take in the glamor of geological sights, as rocks protrude from the ground like ancient guardians looking to escape their earthly tombs. Moss seems to cloak their gnarled features like hair, ever so softly draping across the curvatures of long since distorted minerals veiling age old scars.

During the spring, the soft sprout of wildflower awaken across these boulders with lively purple and yellow coloring. A promise of warmer temperatures, while the deluge of rain continues to pummel the region and sodden anything in it's wake. Upon the end of the steepest climb, your met with the thick forestry. Tree after tree surrounds the trail, and if in the rain thankfully acts as an umbrella throughout the journey. Here I was met with one such magnanimous ancient Woodland relic, one whom carried the etchings of initials from hikers past. Though the scarring of names seems juvenile in a sense, it was also a blessing to make note of whom came and went. Much less the same sentiment of astronauts or explorers planting a flag of their own nations on places unexplored. Here people took claim, to pronounce sternly, "I was here, and indulged in God's alluring creation.." I am reminded of walden, "a taste for the beautiful is most cultivated out of doors."

Monday, January 09, 2017

Beautiful snowshoe hike with amazing views of Beauty Bay and the Selkirk Mountains. Trail is very narrow. Great snowpack, and no one else on the Trail. We'll be back for sure!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Great trail that is pretty well maintained. The hike up itself is beautiful if you like paths through miss and pine trees. The top didn't have a clear view as expected though so that's a fairly big let down. good workout though. not a super hard hike. mostly walking after the initial climb. would recommend.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Comfortable medium length hike

This is a very comfortable trail to hike. The trail is well maintained and clear, it is mostly shady, its grade is consistently pleasant, it doesn't have any unusually steep parts, and its quick to get to from the highway.

What would make it better are some views. There are a couple places you can see a view, but they are partially obscured by trees and not that great. The trail also has no water (it is currently mid July).

I started on the trail right by the beauty creek campground. There is a small parking lot just before you enter the campground with a sign that says trail. I parked there and took that trail.

There are a couple junctions that are unsigned or the sign has fallen down. Just use common sense. If you are going up, continue on the trail that climbs, don't take the one that leads back down a different way.

My GPS measured there and back at 11 miles.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A couple beautiful views on the first mile, then takes a while to get to the top where there wasn't much of a view. Still a good peaceful hike.

mountain biking
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fun fun fun

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Great trail, but really steep and dangerous cliffs on the last two miles of the trail but its super fun

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Great hike thats very close to mineral ridge. It's an uphill climb for the most part to the top. Went 3 miles before turning around and really enjoyed the views. Very enjoyable trail in nice shape. Lots of steep drop offs but nothing unsafe. Looks like trail goes on for a long ways and would love to make it further.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

A nice out-and-back trail from Beauty Creek Campground. The trail is in great shape, a few places with minor exposure, but overall very few obstacles. Great views of Lake Couer d' Alene for the first few miles. You reach FR 438 in 4.6 miles, which makes a good turn-around spot, or continue Trail 79 to summit Mount Couer d' Alene. Good view points at mile 2 if you don't want to complete the entire length.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

If you can get across the creek at the start this is a great hike up a ridge with wildflowers and great views. Best time is probably July-September.

1 month ago

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