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Why You Should Ride Hiawatha Bike Trail

Views of the Hiawatha bike trail are here from a family who travels together a lot! North of Couer d’Alene this is an epic bike ride you have got to take.

Hiawatha Bike Trail

This summer we took a long road trip from our home in Boise Idaho up to up to Sandpoint. In between we experienced the most amazing ride on the Hiawatha bike trail. We’re here to share video and photos of it with you today. Added to our road trip blog we hope you love it too.

Hiawatha Bike Trail Review

We were so excited to explore Idaho during the summertime, this was our last summer vacation after visiting Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park.

We spent time in Coeur d’Alene, rode on this railroad in the country, then headed up to the Schweitzer Resort.

WATCH A VIDEO OF OUR RIDE on this Idaho bike trail.

Hiawatha Bike Trail 2

It was an 8 day road trip that we will never forget. With TONS of amazing memories, this Hiawatha bike trail was definitely one of the highlights of our trip!

Hiawatha bike trail

  • This is actually a scenic stretch of railroad track (no longer in use)
  • It is located North of Coeur d’Alene, about 45 minutes away
  • Riding the trail entirely is 15 miles long
  • You start at Lookout Pass Ski Area
  • You can camp nearby
  • Trail passes are available May 26th and closes September 23rd

You ride through 10 long train tunnels that get rather cold. I’d recommend tying a sweatshirt around your waist so you can take it on and off.

  • This bike trail has 7 sky high trestles that are AMAZING!
  • Trail follows the Bitterroot Mountains
  • Route of the Hiawatha is easy as most of the ride is downhill. Several people had bike trailers with little ones so that is an option too if you have small kids)

Here’s where it begins. You ride through a tunnel 1.66 miles long that is freezing cold inside. You need a light to see where you’re going (the bikes you rent come equipped with a light). It’s a pretty awesome way to start this bike ride.

hiawatha trail idaho

How Hard is the Hiawatha Bike Trail

Well actually let me backtrack. We decided not to bring our own bikes since we would have to store them in our hotel rooms. You are welcome to use your own bicycles to ride on the Hiawatha trail. Or you can rent bikes like we did for about $30 a person.

Either way you have to buy a pass for everyone to ride through this gorgeous trail. Buying shuttle bus tickets for the way back up was a no brainer for me. I knew it would be a long bike ride for us all. I didn’t want to the chance of somebody not being able to ride all the way back (i.e. ME).

  • With a shuttle ticket they load everyone’s bike in the back of an old school bus. It takes about 30 minutes to get back to the top. I was glad we bought the bus tickets for sure!!

How much does it cost to ride the Hiawatha trail

I will say for the 5 of us it was pricey, around $220 total. I’m cheap so I hesitated I won’t lie. My husband is an avid mountain bike rider though and knew it would be a must for him.

Plus I and a feeling this bike ride would be a once in a lifetime memory we would never forget. I got everything; bike rentals for everyone, passes to ride, and bus passes to ride back up on the way back.

Hiawatha Trail

Here we are about mid way through our ride. I wasn’t so sure how my youngest would do, she’s 10, but she had a blast! Not only was the ride itself fun but along the way you pass and ride alongside other families. Inevitably you end up taking breaks here and there, like we did here, and talk about where you’re from.

Best time to ride the Hiawatha trail

Early June is best so it doesn’t get too hot. It is only open June – early September because the weather starts to turn after that. It was fun to meet people from Australia. We actually met another family who lived just minutes from us in Boise!

We did not stay near the trail, rather found a hotel deal on Groupon for a place in Coeur d’Alene. This worked well since we were visiting some friends there too. I’d recommend checking that area out when you’re in the area too.

Remember all those amazing trestles I talked about, built for the old railroad track, well here is one!

We took a break on this one to just look around. It is just so incredible. Especially if you live in the city, it is just amazing that an area like this exists.

hiawatha bike trail video

Hiawatha Bike

Haven’t begun traveling with your kids yet?? I encourage you to do so!! If you only have a day off here and there then just discover new areas near your home. Or if you have a week off take a long road trip like we have. Either camp or find a reasonable hotel.

I highly recommend renting a house. It makes everyone happier if you have kids. Here are a list of other websites like Airbnb where you can find one.

Traveling is the best gift you could ever give your kids, and yourself!

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Jodi Anderson

Monday 18th of February 2019

I am truly happy to hear you enjoyed your trip to Coeur d'Alene and the Hiawatha trail. I live here in Coeur d'Alene Idaho and I think it's a little piece of God's Paradise. Thank you for sharing Jodi Anderson

The Typical Mom

Monday 18th of February 2019

It was amazing

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