On July 21st, 2020, Skip, Bandit, Ezra, and I made our way from Colorado Springs, where we were visiting, up through Wyoming and Montana into Northern Idaho to visit family before heading back to Southern Idaho for work and school.
We searched for alpine lakes to hike to in the area and came across Crystal Lake in Saint Marie's, Idaho. It looked like a decent hike that led to such a clean and beautiful lake that Skip could attempt to fish in.
Bonus, it looked to have campsites at the trailhead when we were researching the lake and surroundings. We had just driven 17 plus hours, and we decided it would be perfect to camp next to the trailhead. We generally like boon-docking "Camping in the non-designated campsite," but we decided not to search due to our circumstances. These campsites were clean, maintained very well with a fire pit and vault toilet, and FREE, so we decided the spot would suffice.
With being out in the wilderness, always make sure you pay attention to your surroundings and be alert for dangerous animals that you may encounter. So, ditch your headphones and listen to nature. We always recommend carrying bear spray while hiking, especially in Idaho, where bears are prone to stumble onto trails and into campgrounds depending on the season.
Directions to the trailhead
From Coeur D' Alene take US-90 east from Coeur d'Alene for 25 miles to the Cataldo exit (exit 40).
Then south on Latour Cr./Rochat Divide Road for 29 miles.
Once you get on the dirt road heading up, it becomes very rocky and bumpy, so hold onto your drinks and use the restroom before getting on the road.
From Coeur D' Alene to the trailhead, it is about 54 miles but looks longer than an hour to get there.