Ross Creek Cedars (East of Sandpoint)
LENGTH: The self-guided .9 mile loop nature trail through the grove takes about an hour to 1-1/2 hours.
ENDURANCE LEVEL: easy (suitable for all ages)
SKILL LEVEL: beginner
RESTRICTIONS: Open to foot traffic only
Ross Creek Cedars
In summer, the Ross Creek Cedars are a place of cool, quiet refuge. A shaded canopy of tall cedar boughs provides cool respite from the summer sun, while the large diameter old growth trees offer a measure of solitude even when the parking lot fills up. Ross Creek softly splashes out its song as it meanders through the grove. The Cedars tell their own tale to all who will stop, look and listen. Their story is in the under story of plants, the fire scarred trunks, the rings from downed trees cut away for the trail and the mounds of matter building up around their trunks. Old Marten sets and fresh tracks in the mud offer insights into the lives of many residents. The earth all around pulses with life.
For profound solitude there is no substitute for a winter walk into these magnificent cedars! Snow falling softly on a cathedral of Cedars, winter is a magical time. Here you will find the Scotchmans silent side. Snow absorbs all sound. Silence is punctuated only by the occasional woodpecker. Snow covers the trail and the Devils Club too, freeing you to explore the trees, trunks and tracks to wherever they lead.
For the more ambitious hiker, Ross Creek Trail 142 (4.5 miles in length), is an excellent day hike through a closed canopy of cedars and hemlocks. Be sure to wear hikers that can get wet, as there are a couple of 'bridgeless' creeks to cross on this trail.
In winter: take extra water, food and clothes. You will need snowshoes or cross-county skis. The winter walk takes on a moderate degree of difficulty. The access road adds, one way, about 3 to 4 miles with a gradual rise of a few hundred feet and the same descent.
Directions: To get to the Cedars, take Hwy 200 to Hwy 56 at the “Bull River Junction”. (About 25 to 30 minutes east of Clark Fork, or about 20 minutes west of Trout Creek). Turn north on Highway 56, go about 18 miles and watch for the forest service sign for Ross Creek Cedars, turn left. Follow the signs to the parking lot for the Cedars. In Winter: After turning off Hwy 56, the Ross Creek Cedars road it will be plowed, or well traveled. About 1.5 to 2 miles in there is a wide spot for parking on the main road, while the access road to the Cedars is on the left. Watch for the signs. Park there and walk, snowshoe, or ski the access road to the Cedars.
Tags: hiking trail