Mount Roothaan and Chimney Rock
The Mount Roothaan Trail is a 2.5-mile hike in the Selkirks high country to a magnificent overview of the range’s most iconic landmark, the great granite spire called Chimney Rock. It’s a long drive to the trailhead (and a high-clearance vehicle is advised), but the hike is a wonderful payoff. The trail runs along Horton Ridge to the shoulder of Mount Roothan with fantastic views of Gunsight Mountain, Hunt Peak and Sundance Mountain along the way. The last, steep half mile or so is to the summit of Mount Roothaan, where Chimney Rock will stand directly before you. Adventurous scramblers can fairly easily continue on to the base of the rock spire itself. As cited in the “Trails of the Wild Selkirks” guidebook, “The scenery is some of the best in the West, guaranteed.”
This hike is in the Priest Lake State Forest, administered by the Idaho Department of Lands.
Details: 5 miles round trip, allow at least four hours. Moderately strenuous.
Directions: Take Idaho State Highway 57 north from Priest River approximately 23 miles, then turn east toward the village of Coolin and head another 13 miles or so north up Priest Lake’s East Shore Road. You’ll turn off that paved road onto Hunt Creek Road No. 24, and will travel another 12 miles or so on gravel forest roads.
Map to trailhead