Rain, snow etc. will not be sufficient reason to cancel reservations. No shows or cancellations less than 72 hours before reservation will be assessed a 25% fee.
Lookout Pass may cancel shuttle operations due to unsafe road conditions without notice.
Lookout Pass Ski Area operates the Route of the Hiawatha. The Ski Area is located adjacent to I-90 at the Idaho-Montana state line at Exit 0, 12 miles east of historic Wallace, ID.
Bikes, helmets & rental lights, breakfast, lunch and picnic food service, a retail/souvenir shop plus day use passes and shuttle tickets are all available at the Lookout Pass ski area, and yes, credit cards are accepted there. The base lodge is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm, (PDT).
Bike rentals are NOT available at any of the trailheads. The main trailhead, East Portal, is located 7 miles to the east of Lookout Pass off I-90 at Taft, Exit 5 in Montana. Just follow the signs to the East Portal trailhead. There is a large parking area and two restrooms at the East Portal. We supply bike racks, as a courtesy service, for those needing a means to transport our rental bikes to the trail head. Our strap on racks can carry up to 3 bikes. Our receiver hitch racks can carry up to 5 bikes.
Q. Do we need reservations for bike rentals?
A. It's generally a good idea to reserve equipment, especially on busy weekends and during the peak season. Guests are responsible for transporting bike rentals from Lookout Pass to the Hiawatha trail. Complimentary bike racks are available. Fill out our online reservation form or Call 208-744-1234 x 19 to make a reservation.
Q. Are helmets and lights required to ride the trail?
A. YES, helmets and lights are required. You may bring your own, or rent a 300 lumen light and/or helmet from us.
Q. Do you offer group discounts?
A. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For reservations, fill out our online reservation form or call 208-744-1234 x 14.
Q. Where can we buy Trail Pass Tickets to ride the Hiawatha trail?
Q. Is it best to park at the bottom of the trail or at the top? Where can we park should we wish to avoid the 1.66 mile long St. Paul Pass Tunnel?
A. The Top is best for most - The true answer depends on how long of a ride you would like to take. Most folks access the trail from the top - off I-90 at Taft, Exit 5, in Montana (5 miles east of Lookout Pass). Just follow the Hiawatha Trail signs for 2 more miles to reach the top trailhead at the East Portal. The more scenic portion of the trail, where most of the tunnels and trestles are located, is near the top. Therefore many visitors start at the East Portal (top of the trail) or Roland trail heads (if they want to bypass the long Taft Tunnel), ride down the trail to Pearson, ID and then take the shuttle bus back to Roland. Those parked at the East Portal will bicycle back through the big tunnel to reach their vehicles.
More active riders start at the bottom and ride the very slight upgrade while they are fresh. Then they can ride the downhill portion on the way back for a total ride of about 30 miles.
For those wishing to by-pass the St. Paul Pass Tunnel, simply drive past the East Portal parking area and follow the Road 506 signs for 5 miles to the Roland trailhead. This section of Road 506 climbs up over Roland Summit. It becomes a single lane road in some segments but there is two way traffic. The distance from Roland to the bottom trailhead at Pearson is approximately 12.5 miles.
Q. How long is the trail?
A. The ride from East Portal (top) to Pearson (bottom) is 15 miles and is a very gentle downhill ride all the way. For most riders, this represents a leisurely 2.5 to 3 hour ride.
Q. Can we take our time biking down, or is there a time limit?
A. There is no time limit, and we encourage you to take as long as is comfortable to enjoy the trail. You can ride the trail every day from 8:30 AM to 5 PM (Pacific Time). For those wishing to take the shuttle back from Pearson to Roland, the last shuttle leaves Pearson at 4:15 PM in the early and late season. On Weekends during the Peak Season the last shuttle departs at 5:45 PM (July through Labor Day weekend).
Q. What is the trail surface? Is this trip dangerous in any way? Is there anything we have to watch out for while riding down?
A. The trail is a high quality, firm fine gravel/dirt surface, with some small cobble in places, so that some ability to ride a bicycle is desirable. Mountain bike tires are recommended. Hybrid tires are OK. Road bike tires are seen on the trail but not recommended. The tunnels are not lighted, if this is bothersome, it is recommended that riders walk their bicycles through the tunnels. All of the trestles have guard rails. On the whole the trail is wide enough so that some of the steeper slopes at the side of the trail should not be a problem.
Q. Can you tell me if the trail is OK for a ten year old - i.e. are there railings on the trestles?
A. In general the trail is OK to ride downhill from Roland to Pearson for most youngsters 6 years of age and older, that know how to ride a bicycle by themselves. All trestles have railings as pictured here.
Q. Are the bike rentals near the trailhead or will we need to transport the bikes in our vehicle?
A. The nearest bike rentals are at Lookout Pass which is located at I-90 Exit 0, on the Idaho/Montana state line. This is about 7 miles from the East Portal of the St. Paul Pass ("Taft") Tunnel. Mountain bikes, comfort bikes, tag-a-longs, Tandems, 3 wheeled Recumbents (for physically or balance impaired), Burley (child) trailers, children's bikes, helmets and lights are available at the Lookout Pass Rental Shop.
Q. If we need to transport the bikes, how far away is the trailhead and do you have racks available that can carry several bikes?
A. The East Portal of the St. Paul Pass ("Taft") Tunnel is about a 7 mile ride by automobile. The West Portal at Roland is an additional 5 miles going up and over Roland Summit. When you rent bicycles at the Lookout Pass rental shop, bicycle racks are provided at no extra charge. The strap racks can hold up to three bikes. Receiver hitch insert racks can hold up to five bikes.
Q. Does the helmet rental come with a light attached, or is it just a flashlight that we have to carry?
A. The bike lights provided at the Lookout Pass rental shop clip to the handlebar of a bicycle. Tip - Be sure your light is pointing down at the trail (Point it about 10-15 feet in front of your tire) so you can see where you are going in the tunnels. Most helmet mounted lights guests bring themselves are NOT powerful enough for riding through the taft tunnel. We recomend as a minimum a 300 Lumen light.
Q. If we DO NOT bring bicycles, would you recommend we rent a helmet and light, or should we bring our own?
A. When you rent a bicycle at the Lookout Pass rental shop, helmets and lights are provided as a part of the rental fee.
If you have your own bikes you can rent helmets and/or lights separately from us.
Q. Can one buy refreshments or food along the trail?
A. YES - There is a NEW food concession set up at the East Portal and most days also at the Pearson Trailhead at the bottom where you pick up the shuttle. You'll find Beverages, snacks, great sandwiches are available at the Trailhead. Including cold beverages (soft drinks and water) and bike specific water bottles, Sweatshirts, T-Shirts, stickers, magnets etc...(If you desire a bag lunch these are available at Lookout Pass. Lunches can actually be sold in a package including a sling pack if desired - so it is easy to carry along the trail.)
Q. Who owns The Hiawatha Bike Trail?
A. The Hiawatha Bike Trail is owned by all of us. It is on U. S. National Forest land administered by the St. Joe Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. It is operated by Lookout Pass Ski Area under a special use permit of the U. S. Forest Service. There is a fee charged to use the trail.