FATMAP by Strava

Route of the Hiawatha: Out-and-Back

The "crown jewel" of rails-to-trails adventures.

Mountain Biking Easy

47 km
2.7 km
2.7 km
5-6 hrs
Low Point
964 m
High Point
1.6 km
Route of the Hiawatha: Out-and-Back Map

The Route of the Hiawatha is renowned as the "crown jewel" of rails-to-trails adventures. According to RideTheHiawatha.com, the trail "is 15 miles long with 10 train tunnels and 7 sky-high trestles." One of the highlights of the trip is the 1.66-mile-long St. Paul Pass Tunnel—be sure to bring your headlight or headlamp!


This stunning rails-to-trails route runs through the Bitterroot Range: some of the most formidable mountain ranges in the Western USA. Throughout the entire ride or hike, you'll be surrounded by towering mountain ridges covered in massive pine forests. This area of the country is truly a spectacular region to explore!

While most people complete this trail as a downhill point-to-point shuttle running from east to west, if 15 miles of coasting downhill seems boring to you, you can choose to pedal an out-and-back, as shown on this map. This version of the out-and-back route begins at the lower western end, heads to the eastern terminus, and then turns around and heads back.

This trail is most popular with cyclists on mountain bikes and gravel bikes. While some cyclists on road bikes will complete this route, the rough gravel surface makes it ideal for fatter tire bikes. Even though the trail is most popular with cyclists, you can choose to hike or run the Route of the Hiawatha, too.

You can purchase a trail pass and shuttle ticket—and even rent a mountain bike—at the Lookout Pass Ski Area. According to RideTheHiawatha.com, "The Lookout Pass Lodge and Bike Rental Shop opens at 8 AM (PDT). The trail is open 8:30 AM to 5 PM (PDT) daily starting May 27 through September 18, 2022."



Mostly smooth and non-technical singletrack with unavoidable obstacles 2in/5cm tall or less. Avoidable obstacles may be present. Ideal for beginner riders.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between May and September


  • Picturesque
  • Road sections

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