Glover Ridge


Forest Service Trail #704

Why: Views

Season: April through November at the trailhead, less higher up

Ease: Difficult.

One of the problems with hiking from a river valley is that the trail goes up. In the 5 miles or so I’ve hiked up Glover Ridge from the Selway, I went from an elevation of about 1,700 feet at the trailhead to about 5,300 feet. No matter how well constructed the trail is – and this trail is extremely well constructed – that’s a lot of uphill. When I finished hiking back down to the trailhead, the only thing I was interested in was getting to the beach I had seen from the last couple switchbacks and getting my feet into the cool Selway water.

On the other hand, the hike is well worth the effort and the sore feet. The panorama to the northeast includes a fine display including Chimney Peak, Fenn Mountain and the Selway Crags. Continuing clockwise there’s the drainage between Glover Ridge and Big Fog Mountain – that of Gedney Creek and the smaller creeks that flow into it. South from Big Fog you can look across the Selway, up the Meadow Creek drainage and even see a small bit of the creek itself. The Falls Point area, on the downriver side of Meadow Creek, has the only roads in the view. And the only clear cuts are at Falls Point and further down that side of the river toward Syringa.
Looking back to the side of the river you’re on, there’s Coolwater ridge, Coolwater and Ghost Mountains. Roundtop Mountain, where the Glover trail connects with that up East Boyd, sits slightly in front of this ridge. A pretty fine set of 360-degree views.

The trail to the views is easiest the first couple miles where there’s more trail use and less tall brush next to the trail. After that it can get scratchy on the legs, arms and face.

The trail starts in woods of Douglas fir and ponderosa pine that are relieved by an occasional cool, shady draw with cedar substituting for the pine. There weren’t many flowers along the way when I hiked it in late August, though some areas must have been cloaked in the white, rose-like flowers of thimbleberry earlier in the year, given the large number of those plants along the trail. I also didn’t see any wildlife except for birds, the most notable of which were more varied thrushes than I’d seen before in my entire life.

Unless you want to walk a lot farther than I did, I suggest the following. After you’ve hiked a few miles, the trees become increasingly sparse. There are high shrubs and thimbleberry that eventually give way to low shrubs and grasses. When you feel you’re finally out in the open, there’s a switchback to the left around a log. You’ll soon loose sight of Fog Mountain.

Walk maybe ¼ mile more, but not all the way to the left around the knoll you’re walking along. Head to the top and check out the views from there. That’s what I did, and that’s where the views are best. You also can hike this trail from its other end at Roundtop Mountain, which sits at the end of the road along Coolwater Ridge. (See hike 43 for directions to that ridge.) In the fall when I hiked it, the views of Glover Ridge below where I hiked were fabulous. It’s a rounded, well-shaped ridge, with openings here and there at the higher elevations filled with golden brown grasses and clumps of dark green trees.

Note: Glover Creek was named for Henry Clay Glover who packed for a sheep business in the area.

Directions: Turn right onto the road along the Selway River just shy of mile marker 97 on Highway 12, then drive 16 miles to the Glover campground. The trailhead is just across Glover Creek from the campground sign. The trail from the top starts behind the commemorative metal sign.

Information: Fenn Ranger Station , NPNF, (208) 926-4258.

Maps: USGS Selway Falls, Idaho, has the first several miles of the trail. Chimney Peak and Coolwater Mountain, Idaho, have the rest.

Connections: Trail #704 connects to trail #703 up East Boyd and the entire route is called the East Boyd Glover Roundtop National Recreational Trail. But it’s a long round trip more suited for horseback, 28 miles of trail plus 12 miles of road.