- Selkirk Mountains
- Lion Head campground is near the trailhead (fee required)
- Geisinger and Trapper Creek have primitive sites with bear-proof boxes and pit toilets
- There are numerous campsites sprinkled along the lake. They are popular with boat campers
- Excellent. Trapper Creek is pretty bad once you get on the old logging road.
From the trailhead, the trail heads west into the woods to a maze of old logging roads. At the first one, turn north and generally continue in that direction until you meet up with Caribou Creek. Arrows formed of branches and rocks are on the ground, but I think even if you miss the official trail you’ll still eventually end up at Caribou Creek. Follow Caribou Creek for just a short while to a fording. This is likely formidable in spring; in fall it is merely cold. The trail continues through the woods on the far side and emerges onto a forest road about a mile from the trailhead.
Cross it and pick up the singletrack on the other side, now closed to motorized vehicles. Within another half mile you’ll come to the intersection to Geisinger campground, branching off to the left. This is a rather pretty spot, well worth a visit or stay. Then, continue on through the woods to meet up with Upper Priest Lake near the 5-mile mark. The trail then parallels the lake closely, crossing many sandy beaches and offering plenty of extravagant views across the lake and of Plowboy Mountain.
About 6 miles from the trailhead is the Trapper Creek campground, featuring pit toilets, extensive sand bars, and a bridge across Trapper Creek. Soon after crossing that bridge, the trail forks, with the right-hand trail rising up over Trapper Creek, which makes for nice hiking, as the water rushes past far below. The trail eventually spills out onto a forest road that connects to FR-655, but this road is rather overgrown, hemmed in on both side and quite boring. We turned around at the 8-mile mark.
Back on trail 58, we headed north again along the lakeshore and come upon a small exploratory mine, about 20 feet deep. Naughty checked for bears and found none, thank goodness. The hiking along the lakeshore to the north end is rather nice and beats the Trapper Creek forest road anytime. From the north end of the lake, the trail, now called #302, continues on to FR-1013, but we turned around once we found the old decaying log cabin buried in the woods.
On the way back we tried to find an alternative route to the fording of Caribou Creek, but found none.
- Trail 302 continues to FR-1013 if you want to do this one-way. It’ll be a long shuttle drive…
Things to Consider
- Expect a lot of boaters in the summer