This portion of the Olympian Hiawatha route has been called one of the most breathtaking scenic stretches of railroad in the country. The crown jewel of rail-to-trail mountain bicycle trails is operated by Lookout Pass Ski Area which is located adjacent to Hiawatha TunnelI-90 at the Idaho/Montana state line, 12 miles east of historic Wallace, Idaho. The Hiawatha Trail is typically open daily from around May 24 thru October 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PDT. Call ahead to make sure. Every year the snowpack is different so opening date changes. Stay tuned to our news ticker to see opening dates.
Winding through 10 tunnels and 7 high trestles, this 15-mile route crosses the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. The Route of the Hiawatha is best known for the long, dark St. Paul Pass, or Taft Tunnel, which burrows for 1.66 miles under the Idaho/Montana state line.
With an incredible history beginning in 1906 of construction, hardships and calamities, unprecedented electrification, and of carrying passengers and freight from the Northwest to the Midwest, generations of railroaders kept the Milwaukee Road running until it finally went bankrupt in 1977. The last train west of Butte, Montana passed through in 1980. After that the line was abandoned.