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The St. Joe National Forest
Hobo Cedar Grove Botanical Area
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Length: Short Loop = 1 mile RT
Length: Long Loop = 1.75 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 400' cummulative elevation gain
Season: Mid-Summer thru Early Fall
Difficulty:   Easy
Permit: No Pass Required

The following information was taken from the Idaho Panhandle National Forest brochure available at the trailhead of the Hobo Cedar Grove Botanical Area.

The trees in this forest were seedlings when Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. Many of the cedar trees in this botanical area are over 500 yrs old. Even though there were several devastating forest fires in this area of Idaho between 1910 and 1930, this particular grove of ancient trees was spared.

This botanical area consists of 240 acres of unspoiled natural environment. In 1969 the area was set aside as a Botanical Area, and the trails were constructed in 1985 and completed in 1990.

The trail consistes of a large mile and a half loop, with a smaller half mile loop located about a quarter of the way into the clock-wise hike. The trail descends gently, and is marked in the first half mile with 17 numbered posts that represent some special aspect of the forest.

The trail is in very good condition and is gentle enough for most hikers. The deversity in this small area is worthy of recognition. There are over 77 different plants along the route and 10 species of trees. Birds, deer, elk and other wildlife inhabit this area and are seen from time to time.

I highly recommend this hike for all those who love nature and because this is quite aways off the beaten path, you very likely will have solitude. Enjoy!


The Hobo Cedar Grove Botanical Area is best reached by beginning on Forest Road 321 at Clarkia, Idaho. Clarkia is located about 31 miles south of St. Maries on Idaho state route 3. In the middle of town, you will see Popular St. Turn east and follow it as it turns south to where it intersects FR 321. At this junction the sign points to Hobo Botanical Area. Follow FR321, also called Merry Creek Rd, east for about thirteen miles over Hobo Pass (4525') and to the junction with FR3357 (also labeled FR335). Follow this gravel road to its end, and there is the picnic area, toilet, and trailhead for this hike.

The entrance to the Hobo Cedar Grove Botanical Area
The entrance to the Hobo Cedar Grove Botanical Area

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