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Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area

At: Idaho, United States
Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area, Idaho, United States
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About: Lookout Pass Ski and recreation Area is a ski area at Lookout Pass in northern Idaho on the Montana border, 4 miles (7 km) east of Mullan on Interstate 90. It has a summit elevation of 5650 feet (1722 m) on Runt Mountain with a vertical drop of 1150 feet (350 m) on the northeast-facing slopes. Lookout Pass operates five days per week (closed Tuesday & Wednesday) during the ski season, and daily during the Christmas vacation break. The area has tripled in size since 2003. New terrain was opened to the southeast-facing slopes on the Montana side of the border in December 2003, and on the northwest-facing North Side (in Idaho) in 2006. There are three double chairlifts and a rope tow at Lookout Pass, whose average annual snowfall exceeds 350 inches (889 cm). The elevation of the highway pass on I-90 is a moderate 4720 feet (1438 m). The historic Mullan Pass, constructed as a wagon road by the U.S. Army in 1860, is about 3 miles (5 km) east-northeast as the crow flies, at an elevation of 5168 feet (1575 m). Lookout Pass is considered the eastern boundary of Idaho's Silver Valley mining region. Opened in 1935, the Lookout Pass ski area operates under a special-use permit of the U.S. Forest Service, in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests (formerly the Coeur d'Alene National Forest). A new portion of the ski area opened on December 26, 2003 on the Montana side of the border (which is irregular in this area, following mountains, and is actually due south, see topo map). The new Timber Wolf double chair and five new runs increased the vertical drop (by lowering the base to 4500 ft), and the longest new run 1.2 miles (2 km) in length. Two of the new runs are rated advanced and three are rated intermediate, with views of the St. Regis and Copper Basins. Additional expansion in 2006 with a chairlift on the Idaho "North Side" opened additional intermediate and expert terrain. Lookout Pass has two freestyle terrain parks, and a quarter pipe that is 1111 ft. (339 m) in length. Route of the Hiawatha Trail Lookout Pass is also a primary staging area for the Route of the Hiawatha Trail, a mountain bike rail trail, which begins in Montana and runs downhill through tunnels and over trestles to the North Fork of the St. Joe River, 15 miles (24 km) away. It is named for the Olympian Hiawatha passenger trains (1947-61) of the Milwaukee Road railroad, on whose abandoned rights of way, trestles, and tunnels the gravel trail rests. One of the tunnels is over 1.6 miles (2.6 km) in length. Now completed, the Route of the Hiawatha Trail stretches from St. Regis, Montana to Pearson, Idaho, elevation 3150 feet (960 m) several miles north of Avery, (equidistantly south of Mullan). The Route of the Hiawatha Trail now includes the tunnel at St. Paul Pass, which is 1.6 miles (2.6 km) in length. Bus service is available to take bicycle riders back to the start of the trail. A fee is charged for riding the trail, and during the winter months the trail is closed. Plenty of parking and unimproved camping spots are available at the trail's start, as well as at the end of the trail. Several other trails are nearby the area for further exploration; one of these follows the old road along the North Fork of the St. Joe River to Avery and has an improved campground at its start.


Maria Ly
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