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Hiking


Like almost all of northwestern Montana, the Thompson Falls area has numerous excellent hiking trails, suitable for all ages and skill levels. You can enjoy short family-friendly, out-and-back trails, with little elevation gain. Blossom Lakes Trail is one example. Or, you can find trails to test yourself on challenging hikes to (seemingly) distant mountain peaks. Try the trail to Priscilla Peak, for instance.

The one thing you'll find that sets hiking in our part of Montana apart from other areas is the solitude. Here, you have vast expanses of wide open space, with a small number of people. In many cases, you're likely to find you have trails all to yourself.

We've listed a few of the more popular trails in our area, below. For more information on hiking near Thompson Falls, give us a call. We'd love to hear from you.
Hike Back in Time

Ross Creek Cedars Scenic Area

The Ross Creek Cedars Scenic Area, located in Kootenai National Forest, is the 100-acre home to cedar trees over a thousand years old. The area has a one mile accessible loop trail which will lead you along a path with informative signs of the history and ecology of the many plant and animal species native to the grove. The Ross Creek Trail (142) is longer--4.5 miles--and makes for an enjoyable, family-friendly day hike.

To get to Ross Creek Cedars Scenic Area from the Falls Motel, go west on Highway 200. Drive to the Highway 56 junction, and take a right. Drive approximately 16 miles. You'll see a sign for the Ross Creek Cedars. Take a left onto the Ross Creek Cedars road 398. Follow for 4.3 miles to the parking area...

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Image may be subject to copyright
Crown Jewel of Rails to Trails

Route of the Hiawatha

The Route of the Hiawatha is considered one of the most scenic converted railroad trails in the country. (The trail was originally a section of railroads constructed by the Milwaukee Railway Company.) It is a 16 mile trail in the Bitterroot Mountains  that can be hiked or biked.  The trail runs from Montana, near the Taft Tunnel, to Wallace Idaho. Difficulty is considered moderate.

Along the trail, you'll pass thru 10 tunnels and 7 trestles. The Taft Tunnel is especially impressive: It extends for over a 1.6 miles. 

The Route of the Hiawatha is typically open from late May through late September.

Stunning Lake Views

Blossom Lakes Trail

The Blossom Lakes Trail is a six mile out-and-back hike near the Montana/Idaho border. Difficulty is moderate. The trail begins on Forest Highway 7 and ends on Junction Road 7623. Elevation gain is a little over 1,300 feet.

During the hike, you'll be treated to spectacular views of crystal-clear Lower Blossom Lake and Upper Blossom Lake, as well as parts of Lolo National Forest.

Blossom Lakes Trail is suitable for all members of the family. Dogs and horses are allowed. The trail is open year-round, but is most easily accessible from June through October.  

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Image may be subject to copyright
Difficult, But Worthwhile

Priscilla Peak

Priscilla Peak, in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, is an approximately nine mile out-and-back trail, just a few miles from Thompson Falls. It is rated as difficult. Elevation gain is 4,265 feet.

The hike to Priscilla Peak offers stunning views of picturesque Thompson River canyon, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in the area. It has been described as one of the most enjoyable and worthwhile hikes near Thompson Falls.

Reviews

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This grove of huge red cedars is a treasure in Montana and one of its best kept secrets! Easy to stop en route to Libby or points North (Canada) or West (Sand Point, ID), it’s well worth the time to stroll amidst these giants. The path is well marked, wide and with only a few trip hazards, like roots. There’s a small stream and various understory plants, lichen, and moss that make the stroll even more interesting. It’s a great place to quiet the mind as you walk.
Ross Creek Cedars Scenic Area. Amidst the trees, a treasure! Grizingraz, Trip Advisor
Excellent! Quite, well maintained trail. Encountered a Moose and her baby right on the trail! Maybe it’s because it was 90° but the incline up to the lake seemed a bit steeper than it should have, but whatever! Gorgeous lake at the end to jump into, and Huckleberries for days!
Blossom Lakes Trail. Alan linCk, All Trails
Great trail - best in Thompson falls by a long shot. We did it last week on a cloudy day, went through 1.5 L of water and ran out on the way down. Do not do this on a hot sunny day, there is limited shade along trail. Would recommend !
Priscilla Peak. Pri Bhargava, All Trails