Mineral Ridge Recreational Trail & Viewpoint
When I was an elementary schooler in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Mineral Ridge was my parents’ number one choice in local family-friendly hikes to take their two children and puppy dog to. We’d hop on the local I-90 and head east toward Montana. They’d choose this 3.3-mile loop due to its perfect distance, wooded trail with simple elevation changes. It was a great place for them to take their family to enjoy breathtaking views of Beauty Bay and Wolf Lodge bays of Lake Coeur d’Alene. To this day, I still enjoy the trail from time to time, and I can say the view truly never gets old, especially when you consider visiting at different times throughout the season.
A Quick History
This trail is the first Bureau of Land Management property recreation site developed in Idaho. In 1982, the trail was designated as a 3.3-mile loop National Recreational Trail, according to the BLM.gov website. We’d recommend snagging a copy of their thoughtfully prepared trail guide, as it’s a great way to learn about the area’s natural history. Lace up your trail shoes and head out to the trail with your trail guide. In your guide, you’ll find you’re amongst a sea of Ponderosa Pines, Douglas-Firs, and Ninebark, among many other species of pine and flowers.
How To Get There
For many visitors heading from downtown Coeur d’Alene, it’s about an 18-minute, 9-mile drive to the 22 exit. The windy drive around Beauty Bay after you exit and before you reach the trailhead parking lot is sure to make up for what interstate driving will lack in excitement. The parking lot is small, so I’d recommend arriving early, especially on busy summer days.
Make The Most of Your Visit to Mineral Ridge
Be sure to complete the whole 3.3-mile loop. If elevation gain or distance is a concern, a few benches are spaced apart early on the trail. However, they aren’t available throughout the whole trail. For casual trail seekers, I’d recommend keeping this in mind. If you reach the top of the ridge, you’ll be presented with an option to go west or east. For more trail users, you’ll go west to stay in the loop. This will take you to station 22, the Silver Tip Viewpoint. This is the final station before you descend back to the parking lot. It’s notably one of Coeur d’Alene’s most picturesque views. However, for advanced trail users looking to extend their elevation and a short distance gain, you can instead go right and discover the Wilson M. M. & M. trail to the east. This trail connects with the Lost Man Trail and does not form a loop.
Pack It In, Pack It Out!
The Mineral Ridge trail is a gem in our community. Help keep nature pure by leaving nothing behind and respecting trail rules and boundaries for the sake of natural vegetation. For more trails to explore near Coeur d’Alene, we’d recommend checking out our growing collection of outdoor recreation favorites. Happy adventuring!