Hike North Idaho

Beehive Lake Trail to North and South Twin

August 28, 2017

The trailhead starts at 4,450’ in Upper Pack River. We drove from Sandpoint and started out from the trailhead by 7:30 in cool conditions (gloves and long sleeve) until the sun reached us over the top of Roman Nose. Then, it proved to be one of the warmest days we experienced in the Selkirks once we topped out on the North Twin about three hours later. The trail to the lake is just under four miles and the summit of the North Twin (look directly west at the end of the lake to identify it) is ten miles round trip. This is the third highest ranked peak in the U.S. Selkirks at 7,607’. You cannot see the South Twin from the lake. You don’t see it until you are on the summit and then everything becomes clear.

To reach the top of the North you go up the benches on the south side of the lake and follow the base of some ledges to the right of a large boulder field. Continue Northwest until you reach the base of the steep gully on the right (north) side of peak. Follow this until it is 50’ from the top and go right just below the summit. There is one short exposed move but the handholds are solid. The summit is one of the best – views to Chimney Rock, Roothaan, Hunt, Silver Dollar and then north toward Harrison and all the high peaks in Boundary County.

We continued on to the South Twin (at about 7,387’). Descend the ridge as close to the top as possible. If you don’t, you will get hung up in small pines that make for a tough go of it. Follow the obvious ridge to the top and enjoy an even closer view of Chimney Rock. The best way to descend and find your way back to Beehive Lake is to retrace your route to the ridge you came on. Before you head back up the North Twin, descend steeply on scree and grass slopes into the basin and then head northeast toward smooth slabs. Once you reach these continue around until you see Harrison Peak directly north. We made our way down to the lake for a much needed swim before descending the final four miles to the trailhead.

To reach the South Twin and circle back to Beehive Lake it is about 12-13 miles roundtrip from the trailhead and 3,400’ of vertical over blocks, slab granite, through meadows, scree, and steep climbing.

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