Bonners Ferry, ID: Roman Nose Lakes

Climb to a pair of pristine mountain lakes on this 3.8-miler featuring two loops, prime camping, cliff-top vistas and access to a waterfall.
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Climb to a pair of pristine mountain lakes on this 3.8-miler featuring two loops, prime camping, cliff-top vistas and access to a waterfall.

Two trailheads stem from the gravel parking area at the end of Forest Road 2667: pick up the one closer to the middle of the lot to head west and uphill. Bear right at each of the first two junctions before climbing toward a ridgetop offering expansive panoramas of the Snow Ridge spanning the eastern horizon. Dip downhill toward the junction with the Lower Roman Nose Lake trail. After forking right to descend toward the lower lake, scramble across open granite slabs to reach a cliff-top vantage point offering sweeping panoramas of the Caribou Creek framed by sloping, tree-blanketed ridges.
Continue downhill to reach the southern shore of the picturesque Lower Roman Nose Lake, which offers several prime campsites. Make your way over the lake’s southwestern edge to access a high waterfall fed by Upper Roman. Turn around to loop back to waypoint RNL005 and tackle the hike to the higher lake. Along the way, you’ll climb through a root-infested trail before planking through a boardwalk-bisected marsh at the lake’s eastern tip.
Like Lower Roman, the upper lake serves up several picturesque campsites: the best site, perched 20 feet above the water at the lake’s southern tip, serves up phenomenal lake views. Turn around to head downhill via the loop’s southern fork before reconnecting with the original trail less than 0.5 mile from the trailhead. 

-Mapped by Travis Lesicka

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 6.0

Waypoints

RNL001

Location: 48.635036, -116.57125

Head west from the parking lot to get started.

RNL002

Location: 48.634851, -116.572924

Bear right at the Y-junction.

RNL003

Location: 48.636064, -116.574056

Bear right at the Y-junction to head uphill. The left fork also leads uphill, but bypasses the quicker fork to Lower Roman Nose Lake.

RNL004

Location: 48.636885, -116.578585

Bear right at the Y-junction to head downhill toward the Lower Roman Nose Lake cutoff trail.

RNL005

Location: 48.636751, -116.579812

The right fork heads downhill toward Lower Roman Nose Lake, while the left fork pushes to Upper Roman Nose Lake. To descend to Lower Roman, head to the waypoint labeled LRN001: otherwise, head uphill to RNL006.

LRN001

Location: 48.637092, -116.580477

Turn right to descend toward a cliff-top vista of Lower Roman Nose Lake.

LRN002

Location: 48.638198, -116.580627

The trail spills onto several large slabs of granite. Look for cairns.

LRN003

Location: 48.641147, -116.581657

Turn left. The right fork becomes a dead end in about 20 feet.

LRN004

Location: 48.639786, -116.583309

This campsite next to the lake offers space for about two tents, as well as a fire pit encircled by log benches.

LRN005

Location: 48.639658, -116.584017

Reach a waterfall spilling into the lake's southwest corner. Then turn left to loop back uphill.

LRN006

Location: 48.636737, -116.579812

Turn right at the four-way junction to push toward Upper Roman Nose Lake.

RNL006

Location: 48.63634, -116.580391

The trail is blasted with a series of roots as it twists upward.

RNL007

Location: 48.635328, -116.587462

This campsite, featuring several large, flat spots, is the first of several you'll find along Upper Roman's eastern shore.

RNL008

Location: 48.632313, -116.58906

This tiny campsite, nestled between large granite slabs, has only enough room for one tent.

RNL009

Location: 48.63176, -116.590025

The best spot on Upper Roman Nose, this large, open campsite offers prime panoramas of the lake from a ledge 20 feet above the water.

RNL010

Location: 48.633958, -116.588073

Turn left at the Y-junction to loop downhill.

RNL011

Location: 48.63583, -116.578546

Bear right at Y-junction.

RNL012

Location: 48.635617, -116.578395

Bear left at Y-junction to head downhill.

RNL013

Location: 48.635925, -116.574141

Close the loop and head downhill by bearing right at the Y-junction.

Upper Roman Nose Lake: Southern View

Location: 48.631889, -116.589873

Notch spectacular vistas of Upper Roman from granite slabs at the lake's southern tip.

Parking Area

Location: 48.634983, -116.57118

Leave your car in the spacious gravel lot at the end of Forest Road 2667.

Eastern Panoramas

Location: 48.636681, -116.577923

From the hike's first ridgetop, look east for a view of Snow Ridge spanning the horizon.

Canyon Vista

Location: 48.638935, -116.580219

Look northeast from this high cliff vantage point for awe-inspiring vistas of Caribou Creek sneaking through a deep canyon.

Lower Roman Nose Lake

Location: 48.641105, -116.581893

Notch postcard-like panoramas of Lower Roman Nose Lake while traversing its southern shoreline.

Waterfall

Location: 48.639687, -116.583953

Trek to the lake's southwestern trip for a glimpse of this cascade.

Boulder Field

Location: 48.636085, -116.582472

Negotiate your way through a field of gigantic boulders as you scramble toward Upper Roman Nose Lake.

Boardwalk

Location: 48.636053, -116.586088

Use this boardwalk to cross through the marshes east of Upper Roman Nose Lake.

Upper Roman Nose Lake

Location: 48.635798, -116.587011

At its eastern edge, Upper Roman Nose Lake empties into a small creek spilling into Lower Roman Nose Lake.