ID – Split Creek, Scenic Highway 12 Adventures

I was ready to find my climbing endorphins after a flattish hike along the Selway River the previous day. I stopped at nearby Fenn Ranger Station to solicit additional hiking options with Split Creek Trail #133 as today’s recommendation and ultimate selection.

The trailhead is just off Highway 12 (A Long and Winding Road) aka the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway

Crossing the Lochsa River on this lovely bridge marks the beginning of the hike. 

The trail was well signed and easy to follow. Even in the early season it was in good shape.

I like trails that begin with a warm up. This one started with about a half mile paralleling the river. Trillium were abundant. 

Surprises await. 

I watched the storm develop as I climbed ever higher. The trail was well designed with long winding switchbacks. My car is way down there on Highway 2.

My goal was the ridge. 

Synthyris (Kittentails) have become my favorite flower of Idaho this spring season. 

Sweet pea blooms. 

Finding this one solo dogwood tree blooming was a sure sign that I’d found spring. 

These yellow lilies were the predominant flower on trail today. Per a pamphlet from the Idaho Native Plant Society, these are called Dogtooth Violets (Erythronium grandiflorum). I’m more familiar with the alternate names, Fawn Lily or Glacier Lily.

The finally rain caught me before I made it to the top and with visibility gone, I decided I’d had enough and descended before the trail became a muddy slimy mess. It was exactly what I needed. My lungs and legs felt great. This hike reminded me of how much more I prefer sweeping views to river corridors. Since this is an out and back hike, you can extend to a 22 mile round trip option.

The only thing I disliked about this hike was TICKS! I found several and was reminded it was time to treat my clothes and gear with Sawyer Permetherin.

After my hike I drove back to the Selway River and explored O’Hara Creek Road, ultimately camping near the creek. There are many early season surprises when exploring backroads. 

Date(s) Hiked: April 24, 2017

Spring 2017 Road Trip: Day 57 (out of 78)



2 thoughts on “ID – Split Creek, Scenic Highway 12 Adventures

  1. Hi Jan! My husband and I visit family in northern Idaho quite often. My mom lives in Sandpoint. Two years ago, we hiked up to Scotchman Peak. It is out of Clark Fork. We did trail #65. It was a challenging hike. I think it was a ascent of 3,700′ in 4 miles. The views are beautiful and there was mountain goats at the top. I believe there are several trails there. You can look into Friends of Scotchmans Peak website.

    Happy hiking!

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