Fisher Peak

It’s uphill the entire way on Fisher Peak trail #27 to a former lookout tower site with views across the untouched Parker Creek drainage. The lack of spectacular alpine lakes that many nearby hikes boast of is more than offset by breathtaking views of the Parker Ridge and the Kootenai River as it flows far into Canada.

Location Selkirk Mountains
Rating 3.5 out of 5
Difficulty Moderate (uphill)
Distance 11.1 miles
Duration 4:00 hours moving time (hiking)
Elevation Gain 3,144 feet
High Point 7,587 feet (Fisher Peak)
Low Point 4,478 feet (trailhead)
Trail Type Out-and-back
Trailbed Packed dirt, talus
Trail# 27
Water The only source of water is a brook threequarters of a mile in
Status Unprotected
Administration Kaniksu National Forest
Conditions Very good. Climbed over only 2 logs
Permits None required
Camping None
Maps USGS Pyramid Peak, Farnham Peak
Trailhead From U.S. Highway 95 in Bonners Ferry, drive west on Riverside Road (aka Country Road 18A) past the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge to the Refuge’s headquarters. Take West Side Road (blacktopped) north for 10 miles to Trout Creek Road #634 (the last 3 miles are gravel). Take #634, a gravel road, uphill for about 5.5 miles. There is parking for 3 to 5 cars at the trailhead, depending on how cleverly people park…

Google Directions (48.823884, -116.531886)

Season June – October
Squirrel Density Excellent!
Features Mountaintop, Grove
Distance From
  • Coeur d’Alene 97.3 miles
  • Lewiston 210.9 miles
  • Sandpoint 51.5 miles
  • Seattle 400.8 miles
  • Spokane 123.0 miles
Resources
Nearby Hikes
Date October 7, 2018

A large boulder at the trailheadFrom the trailhead, the path immediately commences the climb through light forest, crossing the sole water source about three-quarters of a mile up. Continuing to switchback, the trail spills out onto a no-longer-used forest road about 1.5 miles in, then enters a clearing where larches are quickly filling in the gap. Nonetheless, this is a great spot to catch a glimpse of Fisher Ridge to the northwest, which is home to the highest, though unnamed, hump in North Idaho. Across the Trout Creek valley, the mottled colors of Russell Ridge, dotted with larches turning color, look like a leopard’s hide.

View north into CanadaThe trail continues on through the forest, mostly well-shaded and snow-covered in early October. About 4 miles up it crosses the top of Farnham Ridge. If you’re intent on climbing that unnamed hump in Fisher Ridge, this would be a good place to divert. Just follow Farnham northwestwards, a steep uphill climb with little underbrush to contend with. Once on Fisher Ridge, continue westward until you’re on top of the world. Due to the snowcover we skipped that excursion, instead continuing along the eastern side of Fisher Ridge and eventually emerging onto Fisher Ridge at the 5-mile mark. The views here are already spectacular. The trail switches to the western side of the ridge for a half mile, then makes the short climb to the top and the remains of a lookout tower strewn about. Our attempt at views into Canada from Parker Peak were dashed last year by thick smoke; Fisher Peak, however, did not disappoint, offering views all around and well into Creston, BC!

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

Boardwalk in the early portions of the trail; the upper portions are far drier
Boardwalk in the early portions of the trail; the upper portions are far drier
The sole source of water; about threequarters of a mile up
The sole source of water; about threequarters of a mile up
The trail is easy going for the most part and nicely shaded
The trail is easy going for the most part and nicely shaded
Looking up Fisher Ridge from a clearing
Looking up Fisher Ridge from a clearing
Russell Ridge
Russell Ridge
Looks like a cougar. Luckily, we didnt meet the fellow
Looks like a cougar. Luckily, we didn’t meet the fellow
We encountered snow about 2 miles up
We encountered snow about 2 miles up
This steep gap is probably the best route to the highest point in North Idaho, an unnamed hump in Fisher Ridge
This steep gap is probably the best route to the highest point in North Idaho, an unnamed hump in Fisher Ridge
View past Farnham Ridge into the Kootenai river valley
View past Farnham Ridge into the Kootenai river valley
A first look at Fisher Peak
A first look at Fisher Peak
The trail gets narrower on approach to Fisher Ridge
The trail gets narrower on approach to Fisher Ridge
Fisher Peak from the ridge
Fisher Peak from the ridge
View north into Canada
View north into Canada
The remains of the lookout tower
The remains of the lookout tower
Farnham Ridge
Farnham Ridge
Kootenai River Valley
Kootenai River Valley
Parker Peak
Parker Peak
Smith Peak in the background, unnamed 7445 (part of Parker Ridge) in the foreground
Smith Peak in the background, unnamed 7445 (part of Parker Ridge) in the foreground
Panorama shot from Fisher Peak
Panorama shot from Fisher Peak
Fisher Peak
Fisher Peak
Looking along Fisher Ridge to the highest point in North Idaho
Looking along Fisher Ridge to the highest point in North Idaho
Larches turning color on Russell Ridge
Larches turning color on Russell Ridge
Naughty cooling off in the one and only brook
Naughty cooling off in the one and only brook
A large boulder at the trailhead
A large boulder at the trailhead
Trailmap
Alternate Routes

  • The trail used to continue down into the Parker Creek drainage. However, trail #14 has not been maintained for decades beyond the first 4 miles from the Parker Creek trailhead.


© 2016 – 2018 NaughtyHiker. All rights reserved. No duplication without permission.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Vickie says:

    Wow! Another stunning report with beautiful pictures! Thanks to you and Naughty!!

    Like

  2. montucky says:

    Beautiful scenery up there! Nicely photographed!

    Like

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