Nature March 25, 2018
The One Incredible Trail That Spans The Entire State of Idaho
When it comes to super long hiking trails, the Pacific Crest Trail (or PCT) gets most of the credit. But did you know there is an epic hiking trail right here in Idaho? It doesn’t span the entire country, but it does span the entire state from top to bottom. This trail should be on every Idahoan’s bucket list as the weather starts to warm up. Only a handful of people have completed the trail in its entirety in one go, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying small sections of this amazing trail. Take a look.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
The Idaho Centennial Trail (commonly referred to as the ICT) is an epic beast of a hiking trail that spans the entirety of the Gem State. The 900-mile scenic trail winds its way through various landscapes and ecosystems from the top to bottom of Idaho.
The idea for the ICT was envisioned in the 1980s by a couple of hikers who hiked the entire length of Idaho from north to south. The trail was officially designated as Idaho's official state trail in 1990—the Centennial year of our state.
The trail begins right at the Canadian border in the northern part of the panhandle and stretches all the way to southern Idaho's Owhyee desertlands. The trail represents numerous types of backcountry landscapes, some of which require expert hiking skills.
The northern section of the trail that goes through Coeur d'Alene is actually commonly used for all kinds of recreational activities. You'll often see this part of the trail busy with people out for bike rides or family day hikes.
Some areas of the ICT are nicely paved and others are remote and rugged. It really just depends on the type of environment you're in. Even if you don't see yourself completing all 900 miles of this trail, it's definitely worth doing a few small stretches here and there!
There is truly every type of environment you can imagine along the trail. Desolate desert, Western forestry, rugged backcountry, rivers, streams, and more await you on the trail. The ICT crosses through most of Idaho's largest wilderness areas like the Sawtooths and Frank Church Wilderness.
Only a handful of people have completed what they call "thru-hikes" (hiking the entire trail at one time) since the trail was designated in 1990. This is a feat that is definitely not for the faint of heart. Hiking the entire trail would require months of training along with extensive knowledge of Idaho's landscape.
Along the way you'll get to witness some of Idaho's most extraordinary sights, such as a truly stunning overlook of Bruneau Canyon. The amount of beauty within Idaho is immense, and the ICT is the perfect way to experience it.
As the weather begins to warm up, be sure to plan a visit to a section of the ICT. Spend the day hiking or biking along this scenic trail. It's pretty amazing to think such an epic trail exists right here in Idaho!
Did you know about the Centennial Trail? It looks absolutely stunning! Of course, you might want to ease into hiking this beast. Check out these
10 Short Hikes Under 3 Miles In Idaho.