Northern Region Viewing Area
Lost Lake and Mineral Point Trails, Trails 81 and 82
Forest: Idaho Panhandle National Forests (IPNF)
District: Sandpoint Ranger District
Description: Trailheads for the Lost Lake and Mineral Point trails are in very close proximity to one another and provide a wide range of wildflower viewing opportunities from late spring through fall. These are great examples of our native flora providing a palette of colors for the earth’s canvas.
The Mineral Point trail is a relatively easy, undulating hike. Proceeding all the way from Lost Lake to Green Bay Campground, the trail is approximately 5.6 miles in length one-way. This is one of the most beautiful trails on the Sandpoint Ranger District due to the abundant and diverse array of dry forest and moist forest wildflowers, interspersed with excellent views of Lake Pend Oreille. Beginning in late spring, dry site flowers such as shrubby penstemon (Penstemon fruticosus), wild buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum), lupine (Lupinus sericeus), spring beauty (Lithophragma parviflorum), mariposa lily (Calochortus apiculatus), delphinium (Delphinium nutallianum),paintbrush (Castilleja species), alumroot (Heuchera cylindrica), and death camas (Zigadenus venenosus) cover rock outcrops and open forests. By early to mid-summer, moist forest species including wild strawberry (Fragaria species), twinflower (Linnaea borealis),wild ginger (Asarum caudatum), as well as numerous orchids and lilies begin blanketing the shady forest floor.
The Lost Lake trail takes you on an easy 1.7-mile loop through moist forest habitat, to a small lake. Several moist forest wildflowers are present throughout the summer, including Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana), syringa/ mock orange (Philadelphus lewisii), orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa), queen’s cup beadlily (Clintonia uniflora), rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia), and wintergreen (Pyrola species). In addition, the lake and benches along the trail afford numerous wildlife-viewing opportunities, especially for waterfowl and migratory songbirds.
Safety First: Trails are only open to non-motorized traffic yearlong. Both trails are popular not only with hikers, but also with mountain bikers and horseback riders. As such, use is moderate to high. Follow trail etiquette principles for multiple users. Access roads to Mineral Point and Lost Lake trails are best accessed in summer. FSR532 is a gravel road that is not maintained during the winter and sometimes is inaccessible until late spring due to mud or snow.
Directions: From Sandpoint, take Highway 95 south six miles to Sagle Road. Turn left (east) onto Sagle Road and proceed approximately nine miles to Garfield Bay. Turn left on the first road past the public boat launch, and proceed about ¼ miles to Mineral Point Road (FSR532). Turn right (east) onto FSR532, and follow signs to the trailhead. Trail directions and map are available at the District office.
Management: Sandpoint Ranger District, North Zone, IPNF; phone: 208-263-5111 or 208-265-6626.
Closest Town: Sagle and Sandpoint, Idaho.