The Hoodoo Mountains are a mountain range located in north central Idaho with a small portion extending into eastern Washington. There are 58 named mountains in Hoodoo Mountains. The highest and the most prominent mountain is Bald Mountain at 5,338 feet. These mountains are part of the greater Clearwater Mountains, a subrange of the Rocky Mountains. The Hoodoo Mountains are the source for both the Potlatch and Palouse rivers. To the east lies the Palouse region, connecting this range to the Rocky Mountains. This small subset of mountains is separated from the other peaks to the east by the Saint Maries River.
The range is characterized by patches of dense forest intermixed with open plains and rolling hills. Similar to much of the surrounding area, the forest is home to elk, black bear, moose, coyote, deer, cougar, beaver, mountain goat and various other animals.
Within the Hoodoo Mountains lies the old North-South Ski Bowl. What was once a modest ski area, used for training and downhill skiing. Today, the closed ski mountain acts as a park and ride for backcountry and cross-country skiing. Unfortunately, much of the area has been clear-cut in recent years, with many hiking trails being replaced by service roads for logging. However, despite these recent changes, hiking still exists within these rugged mountains.
Bald Mountain: As the highest peak in the region, atop Bald Mountain sits an old lookout tower that can be rented for overnight stay. Sitting 50 feet off the ground, this lookout offers expansive views of the surrounding Hoodoo Mountains. Much of the surrounding forest is covered in larch, cedar, hemlock, pine, and fir trees. The rolling hills of the Palouse stretch to the south with St. Maries to the north. The trail to the lookout is four miles each way.
Beason Meadows Trail: The 14 mile out and back trail offers hikers a longer approach to the summit of Bald Mountain. The trail climbs 2,700 feet before reaching the summit. Along the way, hikers wind through the forest, intermixed with sections of open plains and views of the surrounding hills.
Palouse Divide: A lodge remains at the old ski mountain offering services for cross country and backcountry skiers. However, during the winter months, these ski trails turn into hiking routes with varying distances and levels of difficulty. Take a summer stroll along the mountain, or come back during the winter months to ski and snowshoe.
The closest city to the Hoodoo Mountains is Moscow, Idaho, lying just 50 minutes to the south. The city is home to the University of Idaho: Moscow, and the city has a population of approximately 25,000. Just 15 minutes west lies the city of Pullman, Washington, home of Washington State University. The city of Moscow is surrounding my nature with the Palouse Range just to the northeast. Paradise Creek, whose headwaters begin on Moscow Mountain in the Palouse Range, flows throughout the city. The city is full of small shops and local restaurants, often frequented by the local college students.
Located an 1:40 to the north lies the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Located in northwestern Idaho, the city of Coeur d’Alene is located on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The city has a population of 50,000 which surges during the summer months due to the popularity of the large lake. The city is home to local restaurants, shops and is known for the water-based activities and the trail systems in nearby Canfield Mountain Natural Area.
Though located in Washington state, Spokane is just under two hours from the Hoodoo Mountains. Located just southeast of the Okanogan Highlands, Spokane is the most populous city in eastern Washington. The Spokane river runs through the city while it sits 92 miles south of the Canada-U.S. border. With a population of 222,000, Spokane is the second largest city within the state of Washington. While most of the state’s population lives on the western side of the Cascade Mountain Range, Spokane is a hidden gem for any outdoor enthusiast. There are four ski resorts within two hours of downtown, while rock climbing, hiking, running, rafting, canoeing, and fishing are all accessible within minutes.