FKT: Christof Teuscher, Megan Lacey - Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes (CDA) - 2024-04-05

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Mixed-gender team
Start date
Finish date
Total time
17h 53m 57s

At 2:30am, we awakened to the unexpected: a layer of fresh snow and a winter weather advisory. Our final forecast check the previous evening had been for dry, cloudy, and mild conditions. We panic-packed a few extra layers and set out anyway.

It was snowing hard at the Plummer trailhead, so we donned rain gear and took off into the dark. The first 8-ish miles were an easy downhill to Chatcolet Lake. As daylight emerged, we reached the impressive Chatcolet Bridge across Coeur d’Alene Lake. The snow had turned to rain and clouds hung eerily low.

As we made our way north along the water, we spotted several otters and eagles. No services were open yet in Harrison (mile 15.3), but the rain had almost stopped. We paused for a quick snack and looked forward to the next two major points: the halfway mark at mile 36 and the Timbers Roadhouse in Cataldo at mile 42.

The halfway point was uneventful, but it felt good. At the cozy Timbers Roadhouse, we consumed too much—and soon paid for our gluttony with a few hours of walking (and vomiting). Only in Kellogg (mile 54) did we begin to feel normal again. After a quick break at The Beanery, we pushed eastward into the sunset, through small mining towns, under I-90, and eventually up to Mullan. Thankfully the end appeared more quickly than we anticipated. And though we were cold, damp, sore, and exasperated by freeway noise, the Outlaw Bar & Grill was mercifully still open—where we managed to arrange a ride back to Coeur d’Alene the next day. (Thanks Jason!)

While initial spreadsheet calculations projected an 18h trip to complete the 72mi route self-supported, we ended up finishing 6min faster. That time will be . . . very easy to beat.


Full report with more photos at