Chilco Mountain Trail

MODERATE 143 reviews

Chilco Mountain Trail is a 3.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Athol, Idaho that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,469 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

views

rocky

The Chilco Mountains offer a beautiful, scenic view of the area north of Coeur d'Alene. This trail ends up splitting off into 3 different trails, which offer different lengths and overlooks. The trailhead offers three different trails and is clearly marked as you're hiking. The N Chiclo is the most popular as its 2 miles up and offers great scenery.

closed
17 days ago

The road to get to the trailhead was closed due to snow. I look forward to hiking here this spring.

hiking
1 month ago

Very well maintained trail with amazing views to reward you for the effort. 6 mile drive on forest service roads to get to trailhead.

2 months ago

Fun trail close to town. It's pretty steep, but the scenery at the top is nice. Some bouldering near the old lookout tower is a nice change of pace

3 months ago

Hiked 2 days ago. A few inches of snow was on trail for the last mile or so to the summit. I had yak trax just in case but didn’t need them The rest had icy spots & frost. No problem getting to trailhead or driving on Forest road with my Honda CR-V. Chilco is one of my favorite trails in the area!

hiking
3 months ago

Very steep hike and the trail is well maintained. The top section thru the shale rock is challenging but rewarded with an unobstructed 360 view at the top.

3 months ago

Great for training with a weighted pack. Not to far, great elevation gain and well maintained trail!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike, the Tamaracks are splendidly golden this time of year and the view of lake Pend Orielle from the summit is spectacular. That being said, I cannot overstate the fact that this hike is RELENTLESSLY UPHILL. There are very few spots where the path levels out and those moments are few and far between, so for that reason alone I would bump this up from moderate to hard. I’m in pretty decent shape and it was a struggle, definitely a thigh-burner!

hiking
4 months ago

Steeper than I expected. One for people who like the stair machines at the gym. But not too long. Beautiful Autumn colors. Beware of the three "ankle turner" rock fields near the top. First about 150 meters in length, the other two shorter. Forget looking at the scenery when traversing these rock fields. You have to watch where you step. Trail easy to follow, even through the rocks. Yesterday was cold and drizzly, so the summit was in the clouds, therefore, no views.

4 months ago

The view wow

hiking
4 months ago

The view at the top is amazing! Mountains as far as the eye can see! My kids have done this trail three times with me, it’s uphill but not terribly bad.

5 months ago

Beautiful trail. Steep sections but totally do able. Views are amazing.

hiking
5 months ago

nice area, nice flora. cool hemlock forest. grade was a little steep, though; more switchbacks would have welcome. worth doing, though!

hiking
6 months ago

Great Hike, smoky this time of year, definitely a decent uphill grade almost all the way in. Be sure you take the last 1/4 mile up the riprap to the summit to the old lookout location for the best views. Too bad we haven’t had much moisture the past month, the huckleberry bushes are extensive but the berries never grew enough.

6 months ago

Great trail with an amazing view!

hiking
6 months ago

8/4/18- Trail was easy to follow and well maintained. Beautiful Views!!

hiking
6 months ago

Worth the time and effort. Our 3 year old knocked it out like a champ. A slow champ, but still a champ. Don’t let the scree at the top keep you from checking the last .25 mile out.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked in mid July. Temperature was mid to upper 80's. The temperature definitely dropped at the summit, with a great breeze that made it comfortable. This trail is very woodsy. Be warned: it is an uphill climb the entire way. We calculated 2 miles to the first lookout with fire pits and views. You'll want to take a brief rest before climbing to the summit. From there, it's .35 miles to the summit. This last piece has lots of shale and very rocky conditions. But the views from the top are incredible. Definitely a workout, but worth the effort.

hiking
7 months ago

beautiful well maintained trail, and gorgeous views from the peak. windy and cool, I suggest an extra layer for the top. will definitely hike again!

7 months ago

Fun hike for the family. Took my 7 yr old and 9 yr old 2 weeks ago. It was about all they could handle (uphill to the peak) but the view was worth it. Hardly any snow left.

hiking
7 months ago

It's a steep trail but so very worth the view. I've been on a lot of hikes in some cool areas and this remains my favorite.

Bring a light jacket for the top, it's very windy at the top. Leave plenty of time so you don't have to rush up or rush the view. You have to wait until around June for all the snow to be gone. I went today and there's beautiful wildflowers in bloom.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a great hike and fairly easy - it's June 2018 we just hiked the North peak and I'm 8 months pregnant so you can do it too! Great views, snow is all gone and there's a camping spot at the false peak that you can stay at if you want. Going slow it took us about 1.5 hrs to get to the peak where the old lookout used to be.

7 months ago

Done this many times. The view is always terrific.

8 months ago

Hiked today... no snow on the trail at all, but there is some snow at the top

8 months ago

As of 5/16/18 this trail was passable but the last 1/3 mile had patchy, melting snow. Very slippery so take your time. Orange tags hang on trees so you can follow those once you hit snowpack and lead you up the mountain. I found a remote to a dog training collar-- it was in perfect condition so I left it at the trailhead.

hiking
9 months ago

Well marked and easy to follow trail with a decent climb from the trailhead up to the North peak. Still plenty of snow up top, but the trail is easily followed and the snow is generally well packed easy to navigate. Nice views North, west, and east.

hiking
9 months ago

Pros: Accessible, summit is partially free of trees, potential 360 degree view, trail is not strenuous Cons: Popular, Access road can be heavily tracked, potential for lightning storms
I have been up the Park and Hike trail to the North Peak (there are two Chilco peaks) quite a few times. As previous reviewers have mentioned, the access road, walking trail, and peak itself can have snow cover into early summer. Until the region has had several weeks of hot weather (usually July) assume there may be snow. The walking trail to the north peak is easy to do for fit hikers, as it involves a good amount of switch-backs. The top of North Chilco mountain is treeless, and consists of some decent amount of scree, so this allows for good views of the surrounding area, but the south and east are heavily forested and mountainous. The trail continues, for those that want to pursue it, to south Chilco peak, and dips down from the North Peak, across a saddle-back, and then up to the South Peak, which can also be accessed by a trailhead to the south of the Peak, but is further out on a forest road than the trailhead for North Chilco mountain. The trail system as a whole is a good option for those seeking an accessible , low-surprises trail in the Kootenai County region.

hiking
9 months ago

As of 5/11/18 this trail is passable but still covered in deep hard packed snow. The summit is also completely covered in snow, no trail is visible the last 1/4 miles. If your familiar with this hike, getting up is slow and seems to go on forever as it's all uphill but not too hard.
The road in currently it's clear except for one spot near the trail head. If you have a 4x4 you should be ok. If you have a Subaru Outback you won't be. I pulled a very nice gal out of the snow who later climbed the mountain trail with me. No cell service, make sure you have a shovel or tow strap.
In the summer months this trail is packed with local hikers.

hiking
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

This trail is still close enough to town to be pretty crowded. We went in May last year and there was a TON of snow on the trail still. Mid June was when almost all of it was melted. BeAutiful views at the top.

hiking
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Not too bad getting in still. We took our friends FJ Cruiser up to the trailhead and it had no problems. The trail is totally covered in about a foot of snow but it has had enough traffic to make the trail obvious. My wife started in snowshoes but ditched them about half a mile in. Boots were fine. At the top, we were just about to pop out of the clouds but didn’t get a good view. Beautiful hike though, lots of fun.

hiking
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Please be advised that this trail is now officially a snow sport. I hiked it today, prepared with ice cleats and snow shoes. There is about a mile at the top that requires snow shoes or lots of wading in snow. There were wolf tracks and lots of bunny tracks everywhere. As expected, even on a sunny day, the wind at the top was bitter cold.

Bunco Road to the trailhead is covered in ice. Even with snow tires and 4 wheel drive, I was slipping a bit. On the way down, a truck coming too quickly the opposite way, almost hit me. It would be wise to drive slowly on Bunco Road at this point.

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