Chimney Rock is a 10.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Coolin, Idaho that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from July until October.
I was hesitant to not camp at a lake. I have done all the other hikes off pack river road multiple times each and I love the area. This was my first time hiking to chimney rock. The views were amazing in early october, and the rock is exalted, a beautiful and stunning scene. Water via spring is available just down from the ridge line. There was not a great tent site on the ridge but we spent about an hour and leveled an area big enough for a two man tent. Sunrise was beautiful, but it was a cold morning on the ridge, 25°. Our water was partially frozen and the rocks were all very slippery with frozen rain water from the day before. Beautiful hike, though challenging at times with the rocks. The dog (golden retriever) even made it only having to be carried once across the boulders. She was very tired. All in all a good, challenging, and inspiring hike.
The drive back was great. Very well marked. The hike took us about 4 hours to the top and about 2 hours back. We stopped frequently to take photos, eat huckleberries, and talk to chipmunks. The beginning of the hike gradually inclines. Once you pass the second bridge it starts to incline a bit more. The only hard part is when you reach the rock covered areas. There are great rock markings to get you through, so those help guide your way. You need to be mindful of your steps because there are cliffs... You also need to make sure you remember where you are because of the lack of trail markers. Take your time around the boulders and be super proactive with your footing, rocks move a bit... But super fun and adventurous. We passed one group of 4. They were around 60 years of age. I wouldn't recommend kids on this hike. Overall it's a beautiful hike and I'm excited to do it again!
This trail lacked viewpoints along the way, almost creating more of a mental challenge. Challenging hike, although the trail seemed over grown & enclosed by plants. Could have been the time of year also. Don't forget bear spray on this one.
Pack river to Chimney Rock is a nice scenic trail, similar to other nearby trails like beehive lakes, fault lake, etc.
The trail head is easy to find with a parking area and signs from upper pack river road. The trail is reasonably maintained. It is quite scenic with good views of the valley and chimney rock. The trail crosses several streams and pack river twice. The pack river crossings are bridged.
The trail may be hard to follow at places. It goes over granite areas and through boulder fields. In these areas there are stacked rocks to help guide the way, but sometimes they are unreliable. The boulder field just before chimney rock requires a fair bit of scrambling and maybe a bit of parkour. There are several beautiful viewpoints of chimney rock without needing to cross this more difficult area.
There are only a couple camping spots on the trail, they may not be obvious to spot and the ones I saw are not adjacent to water. There is also a camping spot at the trail head which is adjacent pack river.
Hiking all the way to the rock can be technical in places, but the lower two thirds of the trail are pleasant.
I love this Hike, the climb is moderate and the Boulder fields are adventurous, but the views are always amazing. If one didn't want to traverse over the boulder fields, they still wouldn't be disappointed in the view!
The best view of Chimney Rock is taken from the east and facing west. The three pics I posted are from that side. I guess one could walk around the rock and drop down and pull back to obtain another clear profile of the rock, but the east side is the best for overnight camping. By moving down to the bottom of the rock this raises the rock to a prominent height as it commands dominance..
I have been hiking there for many years.
There are two ways to approach the rock. one is from its east side coming up from the Pack River road. and the other is from the west side coming up from the Priest Lake side. The Priest Lake side is by far the easiest route. From the parking lot, which is located on Horton Ridge, it is about a one and a half mile hike up to the first view of Chimney Rock, not the best view but the first view of the rock. The best view as I have already said above means one must hike down and and over a smaller ridge to see the whole rock. -- peace to all.
The boulder hopping on the east side trail got a little sketchy but all in all was a nice hike with amazing views.
Hiked into the basin below chimney rock. It was August and there was still ice and snow! The basin is lush and beautiful, the view of chimney rock and priest lake is amazing and makes the hike more than worth it.
Entered area through the Horton Ridge Trailhead via Hunt Creek, Priest Lake. Trail is fairly easy for the first one and half miles. Last half mile to the pass is very steep. Did some crosscountry below Mt. Roothaan and into the basin below the east face of Chimney Rock. You could actually watch the climbers climb Chimney Rock!