The Frank Church Wilderness Area, just east of Cascade, is the largest roadless wilderness area in the lower 48 states. Flying is a great way to see some of it. There are many backcountry airstrips to get into remote areas, including several privately owned fly-in lodges with full amenities and guide services. At the airport in Cascade you can charter a plane for a scenic ride or to access the backcountry and hike from there.
GO PREPARED! The success or failure of any outing depends entirely on whether you and your equipment are properly prepared. Mountain weather can be unpredictable even in what seems to be the most ideal of conditions. It is a good idea to talk to local Forest Rangers to be advised of current conditions and other circumstances. A Forest Service Ranger Station is located on the north end of the city of Cascade. It should be noted that, while most of the trails outside of wilderness areas are open to either hiking or mountain biking, the wilderness trails are limited to hiking.
Choose your adventure!
Eagle Nest Trail - 14 miles, Easy to Moderate
ATV and Equestrian Use
Access to Southern Trailhead:
Turn right onto FH 22 (Warm Lake Hwy) from Hwy 55 (0.5 miles north of Cascade) and travel approx. 2.5 miles to weigh station where southern trailhead begins.
Access to Northern Trailhead:
Turn right onto FH 22 (Warm Lake Hwy) from Hwy 55(0.5 miles north of Cascade) and travel approx. 11.5 miles to a marked FSR 497. Turn left and travel for 1.8 miles until you reach signed trailhead indicating Crawford GS 14 miles.
Although there has been logging activity and a fire on sections of this trail, it is still relatively easy to follow. It becomes difficult in at least two sections where the trail is easy to lose due to grassy areas with little to no trees, but as long as you keep Horsethief Reservoir and the Cascade Valley to you left (east) and stay on top of the ridge, you’ll be fine. There are four areas that require water crossings which might make bike and horse travel difficult.
Blue Lake walking trail #119 1 mile, Easy to Moderate
ATV and Equestrian
Take Cabarton Road (south end of Cascade) for about 6.3 miles until you come to a large red barn where Cabarton Road intersects with Snowbank Road #446 (close Nov. 16 – May 31) turn right onto Snowbank Road #446 (sign indicating Blue Lake 10 miles) follow #446 to within 2 miles of the Federal Radar Site. You can see Blue Lake to the south. There is a large parking area at the Blue Lake Trail #119 trailhead. Off to your right you will see a small body of water named Potters Pond. There are several areas near the trailhead for camping and most will accommodate equestrian use.
This is an easy part-day or overnight hike into one of Idaho’s pristine mountain lakes. While there is no question you’re in the high country, it is a hike even young children can enjoy. Fishing is a favorite activity at Blue Lake with lots of easy shore access. The trail into Blue Lake is very easy to follow, and even has wooden bridges to help you cross boggy areas without getting your feet wet. The trail levels out midsection, meandering through meadows filled with wildflowers. There are several stream crossings and, depending on the time of year, occasional waterfalls cascade down the hillsides.
Crown Point Trail - 2.4 miles, Easy/Handicapped Accessable
Turn off Hwy 55 on the Lake Way Road (north Cascade) and follow .5 mile to Crown Point parking area. Park car and ride to trailhead next to Crown Point Camping Area.
Crown Point Trail is located along Cascade Lake. This picturesque 2.6-mile stretch of land is easy access to all ages of hikers and bicycle riders. Originally a railroad bed dating back to the first days of Cascade and surrounding towns. Crown Point Trail is comprised mainly of level sandy sediment that is very stable. No motorized vehicles are allowed. Several spots along the way provide easy access to the sandy beaches along the shores of the lake for fishing, picnicking or sunning. Families love this shoreline trail that offers great views of Lake Cascade and West Mountain.