The NorPac Trail follows the old right-of-way of the Northern Pacific Railway (hence the trail's name) in western Montana and the Idaho Panhandle, crossing Lookout Pass. The trail runs from Idaho near Mullan at the trailhead for the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
, past the East Portal of the Route of the Hiawatha
(south of Taft, Montana) and on to the small town of Saltese. The entire trail offers spectacular views of the forested Rocky Mountains as well as lakes and streams.
Beginning at the Trailhead for the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, the NorPac Trail is paved for the first 4 miles. At the trailhead, follow the signs for the NorPac Trail and Shoshone Park through the community of Mullan. After 3 miles, you'll reach the fish hatchery; turn left off the pavement onto the gravel Forest Service Road 133 (avoid Forest Road 6531 to the Little North Fork). When you reach Mullan Pass Road, cross it and take Forest Road 3026.
At mile 5 you'll go under I-90. At the junction of Forest Road 3026 and Willow Creek Road, take a hard left, heading uphill on the switchback (still road 3026). As you continue toward the top of Lookout Pass on the IdahoMontana border you'll pass remnants of trestles and a water tank. At the pass you'll find food, drink, restrooms and a bike shop (rentals and repairs), the latter which is open from May to October.
The NorPac Trail continues straight through the parking lot, after which you'll make a few hairpin turns. Camping is available throughout the area.
At around mile 15.5 you'll enter a tunnel; the road through here is rough and wet. Soon you'll go under I-90 again and head east. Another rest area is nearby before you head under the Interstate again and arrive at the junction of Forest roads 4208 and 507 (old Highway 10); bear left onto 507 around Exit 5 on I-90.
Around mile 20.5 you'll see signs for the Route of the Hiawatha. Take Forest Road 506 (Rainy Creek Road) another 2.5 miles or so uphill to the Route's trailhead at the East Portal of the Taft tunnel. From here, the NorPac Trail continues parallel to the Route of the Olympian
. During the summer monthswhen the Route of the Olympian is restricted to non-motorized use onlythe NorPac Trail offers a way for ATVs and other recreational vehicles to travel from Taft to Saltese.
To access the Montana side of the NorPac Trail, take Exit 5 off I-90 and follow Rainy Road/Forest Road 506 up the mountain to the main parking area for the Route of the Hiawatha and Route of the Olympian. This is the East Portal of the Taft tunnel.
To access the Idaho end, take I-90 to Mullan, Idaho, and take Exit 68. Park along River Street between 2nd and 3rd streets.
We cycled DOWN from the ski resort parking lot on the MT/ID state line down to where this trail ends & meets the Trail of the Coueur d'Alenes. No people, no pavement, no facilities. Great views on the way down which requires a minimum amt of pedaling. ...
This is a little late (8 years) to help that chap, but the people to see about the NorPac Trail are the folks at the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails. They have a great website and much helpful information. If you are riding in the panhandle, check ...
I recently came home from may vacation. I wanted to ride this trail but could not find anyone who knew much about it. Can someone help me for my next trip? Thanks.