Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crystal Lake

Backpacking
Location: Near Cataldo, Idaho
Duration: 2-3 Day
Season: Summer - Fall
Distance: ~ 3 miles, round trip
Difficulty: Easy


Located in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, a land of dense forests, abundant wildlife and scenic mountains is Crystal Lake (5300 feet). This trip documents a nice little backpacking trip, along a scenic trail to a high mountain lake. A lake that is only accessible by foot, which makes for great fishing and low crowds.

As for the trail, it makes approximately a 400ft elevation gain over ~ ¾ of a mile and then descending another 500ft over another ~ ¾ of a mile to the lake, making this trip approximately 3 miles round-trip for a nice short 2-day backpacking trip.

There are plenty of primitive campsites along the shores of the lake and the mountain views are great, also if you like to fish hangout longer.

On the trail, you start out on an old jeep trail, which climbs the ridge and then at the fork in the trail turns into a single trail again. From here the trail side-hills through open meadows with great views, until it tucks back into the woods as it reaches the saddle.

At the saddle the trail will turn and descend 500ft to the lake below with views of the lake from the trail.

Directions: From I-90 (25 miles east of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) take the Cataldo Exit #40 and head south on 205 the Latour Creek/Rochat Divide Road for approximately 22 miles to the saddle at the base of St. Joe Baldy Peak and the trailhead. From the exit off I-90, the road will travel for about two miles, where it will then meet up with Latour Creek and follow it for about 10 miles. The last 10 miles, the road will climb up the mountains away from the creek and to the divide, past Rochat Peak, ending up on the saddle between St Joe Baldy and Pearson Peak. Park in the pullout and the trailhead is opposite St Joe Baldy Peak, right over the dirt and rock mound.

For a map, pictures and more info click on Crystal Lake

See you on the trail,
--Greg

All Day Energy Runners


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