Hoodoo Mountain Idaho: A Hidden Gem for Outdoor Enthusiasts

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Hoodoo Mountain Idaho: A Hidden Gem for Outdoor Enthusiasts

When it comes to exploring the natural beauty of the United States, Idaho often takes a backseat to its more famous neighbors like Montana and Wyoming. However, those in the know are aware of the hidden treasures that this state has to offer. One such gem is Hoodoo Mountain, a majestic peak located in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. If you’re a nature lover or an outdoor enthusiast looking for a lesser-known destination to explore, Hoodoo Mountain should be on your radar. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the wonders of Hoodoo Mountain, its unique geological features, its recreational opportunities, and why it deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.

1. Introduction to Hoodoo Mountain

Situated near the small town of Bonners Ferry in northern Idaho, Hoodoo Mountain is part of the Selkirk Mountain Range, a subrange of the Rocky Mountains. Reaching an elevation of 5,629 feet (1,716 meters), this majestic peak provides breathtaking vistas and a pristine natural environment.

What makes Hoodoo Mountain truly unique are the ancient rock formations known as “hoodoos” that can be found dotting its slopes. Hoodoos are tall, thin spires of rock that have been eroded over time by wind, water, and ice. These formations are a sight to behold, and they give Hoodoo Mountain its name.

2. Geology and Formation of Hoodoos

The geology of Hoodoo Mountain is fascinating and provides a glimpse into the Earth’s ancient history. The mountain is predominantly composed of granite, a common type of igneous rock formed deep within the Earth’s crust. Over millions of years, the forces of erosion have shaped the granite into the unique formations we see today.

The hoodoos found on Hoodoo Mountain are believed to have originated from glaciers that once covered the area during the last Ice Age. As the glaciers receded, they left behind large boulders and debris. Over time, weathering and erosion wore away the softer rock surrounding these boulders, creating the captivating hoodoos that we see today.

The combination of granite and glacier activity has resulted in a landscape that is both striking and awe-inspiring. The rugged beauty of Hoodoo Mountain is a testament to the powerful forces of nature and the ever-changing face of our planet.

3. Exploring Hoodoo Mountain

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Hoodoo Mountain offers a wealth of recreational opportunities that will leave you wanting more. Whether you’re interested in hiking, photography, wildlife spotting, or simply immersing yourself in nature, this place has it all.

3.1 Hiking Trails

Hoodoo Mountain boasts several scenic hiking trails that cater to all skill levels. The Hoodoo Mountain Trail is a popular choice, offering a moderately challenging 4.5-mile (7.2-kilometer) loop around the mountain. The trail treats hikers to panoramic views of the surrounding forest, glimpses of wildlife, and up-close encounters with the captivating hoodoo formations.

For those seeking a more strenuous adventure, the Hoodoo Mountain Traverse is a challenging 16-mile (25.7-kilometer) trail that takes you across the entire mountain range. This trail requires good physical fitness and navigation skills, but the rewards are unmatched. Stunning vistas, pristine alpine lakes, and the chance to observe wildlife in its natural habitat await those who dare to tackle this ambitious trek.

3.2 Wildlife Watching

Hoodoo Mountain is home to a diverse array of wildlife species, making it a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. While hiking the trails, you may come across black bears, deer, moose, elk, and a variety of bird species, including bald eagles and ospreys.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot more elusive creatures such as lynx, bobcats, or even a mountain lion. Just remember to observe wildlife from a safe distance and respect their natural habitats.

3.3 Photography Opportunities

If you’re a photography enthusiast, Hoodoo Mountain will provide you with breathtaking landscapes and unique geological formations to capture. The play of light and shadow on the hoodoos at different times of the day offers endless creative possibilities.

Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a seasoned pro, don’t forget to bring your camera and tripod to capture the magic of Hoodoo Mountain. The memories and images you capture will be priceless.

4. Planning Your Visit to Hoodoo Mountain

Before heading out to explore Hoodoo Mountain, it’s essential to plan your trip and be well-prepared. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your visit:

4.1 Weather and Seasons

Idaho experiences a diverse climate, so it’s crucial to check the weather forecast before your visit. Hoodoo Mountain is best explored during the summer months when the trails are accessible and the weather is pleasant.

However, if you’re an experienced hiker and enjoy the challenge of winter adventures, visiting Hoodoo Mountain during the snowy months can provide a unique and serene experience. Just remember to dress appropriately and take necessary precautions.

4.2 Safety Precautions

As with any outdoor excursion, safety should be a top priority. Here are a few safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • Inform someone of your plans and expected return time.
  • Carry a map, compass, and GPS device to aid navigation.
  • Wear appropriate footwear and clothing for the terrain and weather conditions.
  • Carry enough water and snacks to keep you hydrated and energized.
  • Stay on designated trails and avoid venturing into unfamiliar areas.
  • Check for wildlife advisories or closures before your visit.

4.3 Nearby Accommodations

If you’re planning an overnight stay near Hoodoo Mountain, the town of Bonners Ferry offers a range of accommodations, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds. Make sure to book your lodging in advance, especially during the busy summer months.

If you prefer a more immersive experience, there are also camping options available in the surrounding national forests. Just be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles and obtain any necessary permits.

4.4 Respecting Nature and Leave No Trace Principles

As responsible visitors, it is our duty to preserve the natural beauty of Hoodoo Mountain for future generations. Here are a few principles to follow while exploring this pristine wilderness:

  • Carry out all trash and dispose of it properly.
  • Respect wildlife and observe from a distance.
  • Stay on designated trails to minimize impact on the environment.
  • Do not pick or disturb any plants, flowers, or rock formations.
  • Minimize noise pollution and leave nature undisturbed.

5. Conclusion

Hidden among the natural wonders of Idaho, Hoodoo Mountain offers outdoor enthusiasts a chance to reconnect with nature and explore a landscape rich in geological history. Whether you’re captivated by the impressive hoodoos, seeking thrilling hiking trails, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature, Hoodoo Mountain is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Plan your visit, heed safety precautions, and be mindful of Leave No Trace principles to ensure the preservation of this hidden gem. Embark on an adventure to Hoodoo Mountain and discover why this lesser-known destination deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.


  1. Hoodoo Mountain Trail Guide. Retrieved from https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ipnf/recarea/?recid=6850
  2. Hoodoo Mountain Recreation Opportunity Guide. Retrieved from https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ipnf/recarea/?recid=6820
  3. Geological Wonders in the Northern Rockies. Retrieved from http://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/post/geological-wonders-northern-rockies#stream/0
  4. Exploring and Hiking Idaho’s Selkirk Mountains. Retrieved from https://www.visitidaho.org/things-to-do/hiking/the-selkirk-mountains/

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Hoodoo Mountain Idaho: A Hidden Gem for Outdoor Enthusiasts