Killarney Mountain

The Killarney Mountain trail isn’t much of a hike during summer months, since most of the route follows well-established forest service roads. During the winter months, however, the area south of the freeway is off-limits to motorized traffic, resulting in an snowshoe trek par excellence!

Location Coeur d’Alene Mountains
Rating 2.7 out of 5
Difficulty Moderate (some incline)
Distance 7.8 miles
Duration 2:31 hours moving time (snowshoeing)
Elevation Gain 1,094 feet
High Point 3,917 feet (Killarney Mountain)
Low Point 3,124 feet (Trailhead)
Trail Type Out-and-back
Trailbed Gravel road, dirt road, packed dirt
Water None, but there should be plenty of snow…
Status Unprotected
Administration Coeur d’Alene National Forest
Permits Park n Ski Permit required for parking during winter months
Conditions Excellent
Camping There is a warming tent about a mile into the hike.
Maps USGS Lane
Trailhead Take I-90 exit #28 (Fourth of July Recreation Area) and head south for half a mile. You can either park on Lakes Divide Road or follow the lower road to the ski trailhead (which comes with restrooms).

Google Directions (47.621714, -116.528097)

Season Year-around
Squirrel Density Phenomenal!
Features Mountaintop
Distance From
  • Coeur d’Alene 15.2 miles
  • Lewiston 132.0 miles
  • Sandpoint 60.3 miles
  • Seattle 325.7 miles
  • Spokane 47.9 miles
Resources
Nearby Hikes
Date January 24, 2016

Warming tent ("Geoffs Chalet")The trail starts out on Lakes Divide Road, which soon crosses a pipeline easement. Follow the pipeline easement straight up; this will get the heart rate going and warm you up. Take a right on the logging road above (alternatively, continue on Lakes Divide Road and take a left at the large parking area a few hundred yards uphill). Soon you get to an intersection; going right would lead back to Lakes Divide Road, which is called Skywalker during the winter :). Instead, take a left and follow the trail (called Twisted Klister) uphill to the saddle (there is one additional intersection along the way; bear right).

Killarney Mountain towerAt the saddle you will typically find a warming hut during the winter months. This is also a major intersection. Going right leads back to Skywalker. Going left drops sharply downhill. Choose the middle road, which is the one with the tank traps; it is called Making Tracks. After just a short while you come to a Y. You could go either way, but going right is nicer when snowshoeing (on skis go straight). This will climb up to the ridge, followed by an equal descent on the other side. Back on Making Tracks, keep going south until the trail meets up with Skywalker again; only it’s now called Moonwalker. Bear right for a bit at first, and then go left. Keep going on Moonwalker until you meet the Y to Killarney Mountain. It isn’t marked, but the Killarney Mountain road is barred by a metal gate on the left (it’s around the 3-mile mark). From here it’s uphill on a wide forest road, which seems to curl around the mountain. You’ll know you’re at the top when you’re at the tower. You can keep going a bit further up into the woods, but there really isn’t much of a view.

Enjoy this hike? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking down gas pipline easement. A fun downhill run.
Looking down gas pipline easement. A fun downhill run.
View from Twisted Klister
View from Twisted Klister
Twisted Klister trail
Twisted Klister trail
Warming tent ("Geoffs Chalet")
Warming tent (“Geoff’s Chalet”)
Filtered view from Making Tracks
Filtered view from Making Tracks
Naughty making tracks on Making Tracks trail
Naughty making tracks on Making Tracks trail
Clearing on Making Tracks
Clearing on Making Tracks
Broad view from Making Tracks
Broad view from Making Tracks
Killarney Mountain tower
Killarney Mountain tower
Base of tower
Base of tower
Its so much easier to walk in someone elses tracks!
It’s so much easier to walk in someone else’s tracks!
Junction of Skywalker and Twisted Klister
Junction of Skywalker and Twisted Klister
View from Skywalker (thats the sun, not a forest fire!)
View from Skywalker (that’s the sun, not a forest fire!)
View from Skywalker
View from Skywalker
Connector trail from Skywalker to warming tent
Connector trail from Skywalker to warming tent
Trailmap
Alternate Routes

  • For variety, stay on Moonwalker/Skywalker on the way back.


© 2016 – 2017 NaughtyHiker. All rights reserved. No duplication without permission.

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