TROUT & BIG FISHER LAKES – Mt Fisher
These are pretty lakes and surrounding forested ridges. Primarily forest trails, the views open up at the lakes. Continuing all the way down to Big Fisher Lake is unnecessary.
Elevation gain: 762m (2500’)
Key elevations: TH 1646m (5400’), Trout Lake 1936m (6350’), High point Big Fisher Lake 2053m (6735’).
Distance: 16.2kms (10mi.) round trip
Time: 5 hours
Hikable: July through October
Map: USGS Pyramid Peak and Bonners Ferry Ranger District Travel Map. Call, write or stop by for a copy: 208 267-5561, Route 4, Box 4860, Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
From Creston. BC. Drive Hwy 21 south and enter Idaho at the Rykerts/Porthill border crossing.
0.0. US customs building.
16.2km (10mi.). Copeland. Turn right (west) onto the National Forest access road. It’s just north of a bar, and 1.6km (1m) north of the Hwy 1/95 junction. Reset odometer to 0.0.
0.0. Go west on National Forest access road signed “Copeland Br 3, Westside Road 5.
.7km (.4mi). Proceed on pavement.
1.1km (.7mi). Cross the Kootenai River Bridge
3.9km (2.4mi). Turn left at a T-intersection onto Westside Road #417.
11.1km (6.9mi). Turn right (west) onto Trout Creek Road #634 and reset odometer to 0.0.
From Bonners Ferry. Drive to the intersection of First and Riverside streets, on the north edge of the historic downtown. Set you odometer to 0.0.
0.0. Go west on Riverside St.
.2km (.1mi). Cross railroad tracks. Follow signs for Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge in 5 miles.
.8km (.5mi). Pass the mill.
5.6km (3.5mi). Go right.
5.8km (3.8mi). Go left and cross a bridge.
6.2km (3.8mi). Pass 2 wildlife refuge parking lots in the wetlands.
8.1km (5mi). Go right (north). The road to the left goes to Snow Creek Road.
8.6km 5.3mi). Pass the wildlife refuge visitor centre and cross Myrtle Creek bridge.
10.5km (6.5mi). At junction, go straight (north) on the paved Westside Rd. Myrtle Creek Rd #633 goes left (west).
19km (11.8mi). Go straight on gravel. Slow down.
24.2km (15mi). Turn left (west) on Trout Creek Road #634. Reset odometer.
0.0km. Heading west on Trout Creek Rd.
7.3km (4.5mi) and 8.4km (5.2mi). Go straight on main road ignoring forks.
9.5km (5.9mi). Pass huge boulders.
10km (6.2mi). Go straight. Left goes to Russell Peak Trail #12 (not the best hike)
14.5km (9mi). Parking. TH for Pyramid, Ball, Trout, and Big Fisher lakes. There are some tent sites in the trees at the turn-around loop.
Trail/Route: Follow Trail #13 north on switchbacks.
.8km. (1768m 5800’). Trail junction. Go right on Trail #13 to Pyramid Pass and Trout and Big Fisher Lakes. Left on Trail #43 goes to Pyramid and Ball lakes.
2km. Trail junction. Go right on Trail #41. It is 1.75mi to Trout Lake and 4mi to Big Fisher. Left or NW ascends to Pyramid Pass and access Parker Ridge.
30 minutes (1920m 6300’). Views south over Trout Creek then Kootenai River valley to the east. Cross several creeklets, probably dry by late summer. Contour east. When trail begins a gradual descent north, can access the ridge above Trout Lake (2287m 7500’).
4.8km (3mi). Trout Lake in subalpine forest. Granite cliffs. Go NE for Big Fisher Lake.
7.6km (4.75mi). 45 minutes from Trout Lake is the high point on the ridge overlooking Big Fisher Lake. Creston and Mt Thompson in Canada are visible NE across Kootenay River valley.
8.5km (5.25mi). The trail drops 194m (635’) east down to Big Fisher Lake at 2053m (6735’) in a granite cirque beneath Fisher Peak. Descending to the lake is unnecessary unless you intend to camp there.
Turn left uphill for 10 minutes to a good viewpoint across upper Parker Creek valley to Parker Ridge.