Quick Trip Specs
- Two nights
- Backpacking Gear Required
- 4 Mile out-and-back trail (moderate)
- Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Google Maps is built on lies! So to avoid getting lost in the backwoods of Boundary County, please follow the directions below…
- From Coeur d’Alene, head north on Highway 95 to Naples, Idaho. In Naples, turn left onto old Highway 95/Deep Creek Loop. Continue on this road for several miles. Turn left on Lions Den Road. The road will quickly take a sharp right turn—continue along it. After you cross the railroad tracks, go left at the Y. From there, continue on up the mountains and follow the signs to the lakes. DO NOT GO UP RUBY CREEK ROAD!
A hippie greeted us upon our arrival to the Roman Nose parking lot. His friendly grin was surrounded by a scruffy beard. After getting lost on the wrong road for a couple hours (thanks, Google Maps), this old hippie let us know we had made it to one of his favorite backpacking spots. Score!
So after conversing with the cheery chap, Trisha, Diesel and I headed uphill on the trail closest to the middle of the gravel parking lot. This path will take you two Lake #2 and #3 (Lake #1 is next to the trailhead). Even with kids, this is a great trail if you have a weekend to spare.
If you’d like to camp out at Lake #2, be sure to take a right at the first two trail junctions.
Once winding your way up the moderately steep trail and bearing right at both junctions, you’ll be greeted by gorgeous panoramas of the sprawling Bonner wilderness.
Hell, you might even see a cairn or two along the way. For those who are not familiar with this weird-ass term, a cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. They help guide the way when a trail turns to rock. Pretty nifty, right? I like words…
After scrambling across the sprawling granite slabs, continue downhill on the Roman Nose trail toward the Lower Lake #2. You’ll reach the southern shore before you know it.
The south shore of Lake #2 offers backpackers several camping spot options. All are within a stone’s throw from the water’s edge. Most spots include a well-used fire pit and plenty of logs to sit on.
And as a day adventure, you can find a waterfall linking Lake #1 and #2 on the southwestern corner of Lake #2. Trisha and I walked up the side of the waterfall, then followed the lazy stream to the upper lake. Shit was fun—I’m not going to lie!
We spent our second day climbing to the top of the north ridge, which overlooked both lakes. It was a grueling, yet rewarding two-hour hike. I’d recommend it if you’re up for a cardiovascular adventure.
If I may, I’d like to finish this blog off with this visual gem:
Have you ever visited Roman Nose Lakes? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!