Mount Roothaan & Chimney Rock
How about a hike to the 7,000+ foot elevation level capped with the reward of incredible views? The beauty of Priest Lake unfolds nearly a mile below, the awesome grandeur of Chimney Rock seems but an arm's length away, and the Selkirk Crest surrounds you. It can be yours for a moderate hiking effort and about 3-4 hours of your time.
The Mount Roothaan/Chimney Rock trail is a popular route that leads into the backcountry of Priest Lake with spectacular vistas along the way. You may drive your vehicle (High clearance vehicles only!) to the trailhead parking area atop Horton Ridge at an elevation of 5,100 feet. The 2-mile trail leads along Horton Ridge up to a saddle near the crest of Mount Roothaan. The last 1/2 mile of the trail is "mountain goat country" - very steep and rocky. The trail continues on to the base of Chimney Rock for those hardy souls who survive the "mountain goat" climb and desire an additional two hours or so of hiking (round trip from Mt Roothaan to Chimney Rock). Good hiking shoes are a must on this portion of the trail as the route passes through a boulder field.
To reach the Mount Roothaan/Chimney Rock trailhead, travel north from Coolin 7.4 miles on Cavanaugh Bay/East Lakeshore Road (or 4 miles south from Indian Creek Campground) to Forest Road #24. This road intersects with the East Lakeshore Road immediately north of the Hunt Creek bridge. Turn onto Road #24 and continue for 4 miles until you arrive at a fork in the road. Bear left at the fork onto Forest Road #2. After traveling 1.6 miles on Road #2, you will arrive at the intersection of Roads #2 and #25. Road #2 turns left and Road #25 continues straight ahead. Proceed on Road #25 for 4.1 miles to the trailhead parking area. The drive from the East Lakeshore Road to the trailhead will take approximately one hour and the hike to Mount Roothaan takes about 1-1/2 hours.
NOTE: This trail system is not maintained and travel may include negotiating downfalls, brush, and other obstacles. Land navigation equipment and skills may be required to remain on the correct roads and trails as some are not well marked. High clearance or 4X4 vehicles are recommended to access trailheads. Information and maps are available at the Idaho Department of Lands office at the foot of Cavanaugh Bay.
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