Explore the most popular trails near Coolin with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Coolin, Idaho Map
22 days ago

The roads got a little confusing in that there are logging roads connecting in several spots and the trail marker for #432 is damaged so the 2 almost cant be read. Also when you get to the gate (that has no way to close) go right. Once at the dead end the trail head Ys - the left takes you a short distance to the lake and the right takes you up to the lookout tower. We ran into two other groups of people even though it was completely socked in and raining - Popular trail even in bad weather. Anyone know when the newer lookout tower was dismantled?

1 month ago

Been eyeing this rock from Priest Lake every year I go camping with my family. Took 26 years of me living to finally go and do it and it was well worth it. Breathe taking views! We hiked up to the north side of Chimney Rock and the south side as well. Would recommend getting to the top of both sides so you can get the views from each.
During the summer, this hike would be easiest, but since we did it when there was a little snow in the higher elevations, it became a little harder with having to get over all the boulders with snow on them. I would definitely not recommend bringing young children on this hike if you are going to be going all the way up, as there are considerably large boulders to get over and also steep ridges to get to the top.
Overall this hike kicked mine and my dads (60 years old) butts, but would do it again.

1 month ago

Great hike. Amazing views. Bit of snow up top.

1 month ago

10/6 11:30am-1:30pm. There was snow on the trail on the way up (really fun to see all the different animal prints), and it was nearly all gone on the way down. The snow at the very top was there to stay but not at all difficult to get around in (yet). Some of the most beautiful views up there! The steep climb to the top is shorter than you think.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike on a pleasant September Sunday. The first 1/3 of the hike is considered easy with little elevation gain on a mostly wide and well-maintained trail. The 2nd 1/3 is a little steeper and you hike through various granite plateaus, but still easy to walk on. I would classify that section “moderate”. Make sure you follow the rock cairns carefully as it is easy to get lost on the trail! At the end of that 2nd 1/3, you will have a gorgeous view onto chimney rock and the valley you just climbed through. You can easily call it quits there and forgo the last strenuous and a little dangerous part of the hike as it is stunning right then and there. The last section gets a little tricky and is only for experienced hikers: you literally have to climb through a field of gigantic boulders and you have to make sure you don’t slip and fall through the cracks. I do not recommend bringing your dog up to that section! And don’t forget to bring your hiking poles! Once at the top, you get rewarded with even more beautiful views over the front and also the back valley. And if you are brave enough, you can even climb along the back edge of the rock and find the view over Priest Lake; however, we chickened out after about 100 feet as it got too steep and we didn’t want to risk falling off the cliff and having to be rescued….it’s not for weak nerves!
The length of the trail is closer to 12 miles overall per our tracking device. 4 hours up (including lots of breaks for pictures and some snacks) and 2.5 hours down.

3 months ago

Played at the lake and in the snow!!

4 months ago

Camped at the lake , had the place to ourselves if you don’t consider swarming mosquitoes down at the lake. The hike to the peak was amazing as every view got better until the spectacular summit where Priest and upper Priest are a sight to behold. Wish we had taken a topo map to help name all the peaks we saw and guessed. Take a lot of water and be sure to take a hard left when you reach the logging road above the lake ... fun hike.

Friday, August 18, 2017

had a great hike into chimney rock with my dog trail was in great shape and the view amazing first time from the pack river side but won't be the last

Friday, August 18, 2017

had a great hike into chimney rock with my dog trail was in great shape and the view amazing first time from the pack river side but won't be the last time

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Do you like hiking on rocks? Yes? Then, this is the trail for you. No? Please shop for another trail.

We set out this morning, wondering if the smoke from the forest fires in our area would make this hike too miserable to complete. As expected, there was a bit of smoke in the air, but not enough to keep us down.

I’m not going to kid you. This is a heavy-duty hike. There is a considerable grade to deal with. The trail is overgrown in many areas. You will ford streams. You will hop lots of rocks. The trail will be hard to follow in places. That said, this is a very scenic hike, with incredible beauty all around.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

We had to park nearly a mile from the trail head due to a washout in the road so adding that distance and effort (STEEP) to the hike made it a bit more fun!

The trail up was challenging in areas due to the grade, loose rock and snow but all together this is a great hike. The boulder crawl to the top of the adjacent peak was technical in places because, well, there's no trial to follow, per se, so you must be cautious about teetering rocks and crevices. Once yo are on the peak, the views are tremendous with Hunt and Priest Lake topping the list.

I was fortunate enough to share the day with a enthusiastic, fit, and attractive partner (MM). Thanks for the memory.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Beautiful sunny day with great 360 degrees view. Interesting seeing both the old and newer lookouts. Beautiful hike by the Lookout Lake if you start before the gate. Hint: If you go through the open gate you can miss the lake part of the hike and go right to the top.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

One of our favorite hikes in the Summer. Start early. Bring a pack with a jacket and plenty of water. Most important a good attitude.

Monday, October 03, 2016

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.

Monday, September 12, 2016

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!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

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.

Monday, August 29, 2016

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.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

beautiful view.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Great, easy hike that leads you to camping on the sandy beaches.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

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!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Very cool!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Love this trail. Lived across the lake all my life (summer home). We are going to do this again summer 2016!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The boulder hopping on the east side trail got a little sketchy but all in all was a nice hike with amazing views.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The loop on the map is the parking lot. This is an easy flat path that winds through an old cedar and pine forest. The trail is an easy mountain bike trail. The trail is straight north up to the southwest corner of Upper Priest Lake and up along the west bank as far as you like. You can actually swing around the east side and come south but unless you want to swim across the passage(That's the creek that connects both lakes) you will have to have another vehicle waiting on that side.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I did this trail with my mom last week. Offroad or high clearance vehicle is a must just to make it to the trail head. We started at the Lookout Lake trail head instead of driving farther. It was a fun bushwacking adventure to the lake. Blue huckleberries were everywhere which we snacked on the whole way up. The hike itself, comparatively, was not bad at all. A lot of up but fun and fantastic views. We got to meet a few of the land crew working on the building, and I shared my lunch with the cutest pine squirrel who helped himself to my backpack. It was worth every ache and pain once you got to the top.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

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!

Friday, September 16, 2011

If you have an off-road vehicle you can drive most of the way up the mountain. The trail was easy to follow and well worn in most places and ranges from easy to moderate. The views of Priest and Upper Priest Lakes, as well as the surrounding area, were worth the effort to get there. There is a fire look out tower at the top and the person manning the tower allowed us to climb up for a view. We saw lots of bear sign, but luckily no bears that day. We went in August and the trail is very thick with huckleberries that time of year. Bring a bag to take some home on the way down.

1 month ago

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