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Notice: The US Forest Service has closed the Borax Tunnel indefinitely as it is in imminent danger of collapse.Contact the Superior Ranger Station at Lolo National Forest for more information and updates: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/lolo/about-forest/offices
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, mostly on quiet country roads, 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 Idaho–Montana 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 months—when the Route of the Olympian is restricted to non-motorized use only—the 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.
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