Spring Hiking in the Idaho Panhandle

Trillium Flower
Trillium Flower

This past winter here in Sandpoint, Idaho was long, snowy and rainy, but the hiking season is finally here.  The weather for the past couple weeks has been sunny and dry, and getting outdoors has become irresistible.  The snow level is still around 4,000 feet, but plenty of lower elevation hikes are clear.

Snow covered trail near Grouse Creek
Snow covered trail near Grouse Creek

I have enjoyed getting out and hiking a number of trails including two Sandpoint area gems:

Mickinnick Trail is a moderately strenuous hike with great views, and the trailhead is only 5 minutes from downtown Sandpoint. This trail is 3.5 miles long one way and ascends 2,150 feet through mostly forested terrain. This is one of my go to hikes, especially if I don’t feel like driving very far. The view at the top is fantastic and overlooks Sandpoint, Lake Pend Oreille, and surrounding areas.

View from the top of Mickinnick

Gold Hill Trail is another must do hike near Sandpoint. The Gold Hill trail is 3.7 miles long (if you hike all they way to Forest Road 2642) with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet. The views are very good and look northwest across the long bridge and train bridge toward Sandpoint. The small parking area can fill up quickly on weekends, so try to arrive early.

View from the first lookout point on the Gold Hill trail

I am very excited for other trails to open up, but grateful for the low-altitude hikes that are accessible now.  The hiking season seems to fly by every year, so I’m trying to get out and hike whenever time and weather allows.


  1. I wish I were there to hike with you. Wow, the views are simply magnificent! Thanks for sharing your words and photos…..such a gift!

  2. Glad you are posting again. You are such a great writer. Have fun hiking and watch out for the ticks!

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