The trail starts off Road #3215 just up from the campground and skirts the East side of the lake. Along with some cool views of the lake there are several exposed sections of trail. The drops are not super steep or long, but the tread does get narrow as it crosses several rock outcroppings. The first 4 miles of the trail are super fun with lots of short ups and downs.
At the North end of the lake, the trail follows Lodge Creek for awhile and then starts a steep climb up the hillside back to Road #3215. Although not very technical, but there some rocks and roots throw into some steep inclines that make from some very challenging sections. My internal inclinometer was telling me I should stop soon. The last 2 miles are the most challenging, but the whole trail is ridable. This section drew some rumbling from Larry. I got that he was even less thrilled with some of the climbs.
|stupid camera flash|
Once you join back up with Road #3215, it is a burner downhill back to car. You don't really realize all the elevation covered on the way out as most of it is fairly gradual. But on your return trip, save for a couple short climbs, it is just a fast return. Even with running rim brakes and having a slight mechanical, the return trip is where Larry started to come around.
|there we go...note the smile|
The Bead Lake Trail was only a 45 minute drive from Sandpoint, so if you are looking for something new and easy to access this is a good choice.