Author Topic: Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane  (Read 306 times)

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Offline bluecat

Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane
« on: August 18, 2020, 12:00:53 am »
Hi everyone,
   First time poster here. (Please be gentle :-) )
   About 10 years ago, I spent some days researching and planning out a trip from the Montana side of the Hiawatha, clear through to Spokane.  Now that I'm retired, and with a time galore on my hands, it calls to me again.   But I'm having a heck of a time finding info on it---it was hard info to find when I did this last time around too, but there were even some vendors who would offer shuttle services and logistics planning, IIRC.  Now I can't find a thing.

   Does anyone have any good source of recent information about how to string together the trails that I mention in the title of this post?   I imagine that this would be well-documented in a small book or set of blog posts...in my head, I imagine a lot of people wanted to do this.   (Maybe I'm overlooking some reason people aren't doing it...??)

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2020, 12:44:30 am »
Look up the Wild West Route (bikepacking roots.org).

I just finished section 1, you could use parts of that to get from Superior or St. Regis, MT up thru the Hiawatha and onto Wallace, ID. Dirt roads that are in similar shape to the Hiawatha, then I believe paved trail heading west ftom Wallace (no idea if that will get you to your destination).

Sent from my SM-T580 using Tapatalk


Offline bluecat

Re: Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2020, 01:00:06 am »
Thanks for the quick reply.   Unfortunately, the Wild West route misses my ideal starting post by 40 miles.  Nothing on that website either.

Happy riding! 

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 02:23:12 am »
I rode from Spokane to the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in 2011. Basically, I used the Centennial trail east from Spokane through the town of Coeur d'Alene, to where the trail ends. I then got on I-90 for a few miles (it's legal, there's a wide shoulder) and then rode Idaho 97 south to Harrison, where I connected with the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2020, 09:16:56 am »
Thanks for the quick reply.   Unfortunately, the Wild West route misses my ideal starting post by 40 miles.  Nothing on that website either.

Happy riding!

Sorry i wasn't clear.  WWR utilizes the Hiawatha, you could start anywhere along it.  Assuming you want to start at the top of the Hiawatha:
- ride downhill on the Hiawatha to the Pearson trailhead
- take Moon Pass Road/St. Joe River Road NW, it passes thru a very scenic valley that contains many 1910 fire snags
- up and over Moon Pass and downhill into Wallace
- from Wallace, you can take the Trail of the Couer-d-Alenes west (you'd have to connect somehow to Spokane)

First 3 bullet points are dirt, the Moon Pass road was similar in quality to the Hiawatha and even smoother in some sections

Offline bluecat

Re: Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2020, 09:45:09 am »
Thanks, Iowagriz and adventurePDX.

Is it too crazy that I 'm hoping to find a soup-to-nuts description of the particular stretch I'm looking for?  You know, everything from trail suitability (thanks, Iowagriz) to personal tales (thanks, adventurepdx, found the blog post).

If you ask me to plan a multi-week, multi-country travel trip, I can do it. But a multi-day bike trip?  I've done it before for some boy scout trips but, this time around, I'm somewhat lost still....

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2020, 11:54:33 am »
I think your geography is off. The Montana side of the Hiawatha goes into ID, away from the eastern start of the CdA trail in Mullan.

I was just riding out there last year. From St. Regis I climbed Gold Pass (15 miles of dirt/gravel) to the ID border, then down to the St. Joe River to Avery (nice, paved road). From Avery, I road the former Milwaukee Road right-of-way for 9 miles to the Pearson Trailhead of the Hiawatha, which is the western end of that trail. Took that all the way to the East Portal Trailhead, which is in MT. From there, I went down the dirt road and picked up the NorPac Trail, which takes you back to the border with ID at Lookout Pass. From there, you can either take I-90 down 7 miles to Mulan to pick up the CdA or you can continue down the NorPac Trail to Mulan. I chose the former as I was sick of dirt at that point.

You can see what I describe above here between mile 74 and 172.6:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29428535

Ignore all those profile spikes on the Hiawatha. That's GPS data coming from the tops of the dozen or so tunnels on the trail.

If you want to experience the Hiawatha and all of the CdA and even more trail you could do:

1. Do what I did above to St. Regis
2. Pick up the Olympian Trail in St. Regis, which become the Hiawatha Trail at the East Portal Traihead. (They are both on the same former Milwaukee Road right-of-way.
3. Ride the Hiawatha to its western terminus at Pearson
4. Catch the shuttle back to the west side of the St. Paul Pass Tunnel on the Hiawatha and ride back through the tunnel to the East Portal Trailhead.
5. Do what I did from East Portal to Mullan.

Don't expect nicely groomed surfaces on all parts of the Olympian and NorPac Trails.




Offline bluecat

Re: Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2020, 12:35:46 pm »
I think your geography is off.

Yes, this was the problem.  For some reason, I was thinking I could string along all of the rides I described above and it would be something cool.  But now I see that, while it's possible, it would be a bit disjointed and that, if I were to force the connections, it would require a lot of time on the Idaho Centennial Trail that appears to parallel I-90.   That doesn't sound nice.

Thanks for the wake up.  I think I need to ditch this little idea and settle for some piece meal rides that would be more interesting/relaxing/beautiful than the cockamamie idea I had a while back. 

Offline BikeliciousBabe


Offline bluecat

Re: Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2020, 11:08:50 pm »
Thank you.  Lots of good ideas on that link you sent.  Time to start dreaming!