Kevin and Carol Bennett
Kevin and Carol Bennett

Bonner County

Priest Lake, Idaho
Trail is north of Coolin 7.4 miles on Cavanaugh Bay/ East Lakeshore Road
Mt. Roothaan is 7,326′ and sits just half a mile south of Chimney Rock and is about 200′ higher.
The vantage point offers the best view of Chimney Rock of any 7,000′ footers on the crest.
The Chimney Rock Trailhead 256 is easy access and the trail easy to follow.
12 miles RT to the base of Chimney Rock on the east side. Mt. Roothaan which is just more than 3300′ of gain.

Trail (East Side of Priest Lake)- Hike to the 7,300 foot elevation for incredible panoramic views. The beauty of Priest Lake unfolds nearly a mile below, the awesome grandeur of Chimney Rock seems but an arm’s length away, and the Selkirk Crest surrounds you. It can be yours for a moderate hiking effort and about three to four hours of your time. The Mount Roothaan/ Chimney Rock Trail is a popular route that leads into the backcountry of Priest Lake with spectacular vistas along the way. You can drive your vehicle (high clearance only!) to the trailhead parking area atop Horton Ridge at an elevation of 5,100 feet. From the trailhead, the 2 mile trail leads along Horton Ridge up to a saddle near the crest of Mount Roothaan. The last ½ mile of trail is “mountain goat country” very steep and rocky. The trail continues on to the base of Chimney Rock for those hardy souls who survive the “mountain goat” climb and desire an additional two hours or so of hiking (round trip from Mount Roothaan to Chimney Rock.) Good hiking boots are a must on this portion of the trail as the route passes through an extensive talus field. To reach Mount Roothaan/ Chimney Rock trailhead, travel north from Coolin 7.4 miles on Cavanaugh Bay/ East Lakeshore Road (or 4 miles south from the Indian Creek Campground) to Forest Road #24. This road intersects with East Lakeshore Road immediately north of Hunt Creek Bridge. Turn onto Road #24 and continue for 4 miles until you arrive at a fork in the road. Bear left at the fork onto Forest Road #2. After traveling 1.6 miles, you will arrive at the intersection of Roads #2 and #25. Road #2 continues straight ahead and Road #25 continues off to the right. Proceed on Road #25 for 4.1 miles to the trailhead parking area. The drive from the East Lakeshore Road to the trailhead will take approximately one hour and the hike to Mount Roothaan takes about 1½ hours.

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