Sandpoint, ID: Moose Mountain Loop

Climb to picture-perfect panoramas of Moose Lake and the Lightning Creek Drainage from Moose Mountain on this 7-mile loop in Kaniksu National Forest.
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Climb to picture-perfect panoramas of Moose Lake and the Lightning Creek Drainage from Moose Mountain on this 7-mile loop in Kaniksu National Forest.

Hidden in the eastern reaches of Kaniksu National Forest, this leisurely 7-mile loop pushes toward Blacktail Lake before climbing up Moose Mountain and dropping down to Moose Lake. Start by heading southwest on the Moose Creek Trail from the parking lot at the end of Forest Service Road 1022. After 0.6 mile, turn right on the Blacktail Lake Trail and begin climbing up a hill separating Blacktail Lake and Moose Lake. At mile 2.4, bear left to hit the Moose Mountain Trail (the right fork brings downhill to Blacktail Lake, 0.6 mile away).
Moose Mountain’s peak is preceded by a revealing ridgeline serving up vistas of both nearby lakes and the surrounding mountain country. Once at the peak, the trail bends to the east while descending another ridge toward Moose Lake. Along the way, you’ll hike down a staircase of rock, through a clearing and past marshland encroaching the lake's shore. Primitive campsites are situated elsewhere along the lake’s shoreline, and the lake itself provides fishing for small, yet active, brook trout. Return to the trailhead via looping back with the Moose Creek Trail.

-Mapped by Travis Lesicka

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.2



Location: 48.365445, -116.133063

Leave your car in the lot and head southeast on the Moose Creek Trail.


Location: 48.361011, -116.123428

At the Y-junction, turn right onto the Blacktail Lake Trail. The left fork brings you straight to Moose Lake.


Location: 48.354424, -116.140423

Head downhill for a brief stretch leading to the Moose Mountain Trail.


Location: 48.351611, -116.139253

Turn left to pick up the Moose Mountain Trail. The right fork leads to Blacktail Lake (0.6 mile south).


Location: 48.350247, -116.128836

Notch prime panoramas while running the ridge leading to Moose Mountain.


Location: 48.346546, -116.123836

Gain spectacular views from the peak of Moose Mountain (6,500 feet).


Location: 48.346552, -116.115253

Exercise caution while descending the scree-dusted rock staircase here.


Location: 48.349337, -116.114631

The trees thin out as you near Moose Lake.


Location: 48.352394, -116.111482

The trail slices through marshland encircling the lake.


Location: 48.361296, -116.12257

Turn right onto the Moose Lake Trail to return to the trailhead.

Parking Lot

Location: 48.365499, -116.133299


Location: 48.365381, -116.13302

Hallway Of Trees

Location: 48.352186, -116.136904

Wind through old growth timber en route to Moose Mountain.

False Peak

Location: 48.349005, -116.126647

This dead tree marks a false peak north of Moose Mountain.

Moose Lake

Location: 48.348, -116.125488

Moose Lake is visible from the ridge connecting to Moose Mountain.

Moose Mountain Trail

Location: 48.346381, -116.123471

The trail swings east from the top of Moose Mountain.

Cross-Valley Views

Location: 48.345989, -116.119094

While descending from Moose Mountain, look southeast across the valley for views of Benning Mountain.


Location: 48.354667, -116.11021

Prime campsites are available along Moose Lake's shoreline.

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