Moscow Mountain Lookout

Total Miles
3.3

Elevation

1436.77 ft

Duration

Hours

Technical Rating

2

Easy

Best Time

Summer, Fall

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Trail Overview

This is a short but fun ride up to the Moscow Mountain lookout, which resides on the East Summit of Moscow Mountain. This trail is mostly dirt, with the first several hundred yards made up of large 2" gravel rock. This trail is relatively wide for a good portion before turning to a narrow two-track near the summit. The trail is not regularly maintained, so expect some brushier portions, and down trees cut just wide enough to pass by. You will follow the trail to a stunning viewpoint that overlooks the greater Palouse - and on a clear day, you can see the seven devils and Wallowa mountains. The lookout is aptly named as it was the site of a fire lookout tower up until the 1980s, when the tower was torn down. The first half of this trail runs through a section of private timberland that is open for public access and then transitions to public land owned by the State of Idaho - please obey all closed gates and restrictions to continue the privilege of access to this beautiful location. The gate of this trail is generally closed from November-June but varies based on weather conditions; there are often restrictions to access during fire seasons. Before you reach the top, there is a shaded picnic area with tables and benches just off the main trail.

Difficulty

Easy

History

This trail leads to what was once home to a fire lookout tower. The location was developed in 1934 with a 40 foot wooden tower at the east summit (where this trail leads). The following year a 74' steel tower was built atop the west summit - this tower was moved to the east summit in 1954 to replace the wooden tower. The steel tower was then removed in 1981. If you do some exploring around the site you can still find the concrete footers where the guy-lines were connected to support the tower. The scenery is amazing at this location, on a very clear day you can see as far as the seven devils.

Technical Rating

2

Access Description

Accessed via Moscow Mountain road, follow the road til its intersection with Rock Creek road - there is an area where you can park and unload or you can ride from multiple other pullouts on the rock creek side or moscow mountain road side. This can also be accessed via Tamarack road which intersects the mapped trail at roughly the halfway point.