SAFETY Rules & Etiquette 

Lookout Pass Ski Area and the USFS have some basic rules for the safe operation of the Route of the Hiawatha Rail-Trail.  These rules apply to everyone, at all times.  Please ride safely and be courteous of others while enjoying your bicycle ride.


  1. The use of helmets is highly recommended for all Trail riders and required for those younger than 18 yrs of age in compliance with Idaho state law. Lights are mandatory.  Lights may be affixed to bikes. We recommend lights with 300-400 lumens or more. Why do we highly recommend helmets? Concrete fall and rockfall hazards exist in each tunnelin both concrete-lined and unlined tunnels. Concrete fall and rockfall that could cause severe injury or death could occur at any time without warning. 
  2. Adult supervision is required for all children under the age of 14 years.
  3. All trail users must purchase a ticket and display that ticket on your bicycle, while on the trail. We suggest wrapping it around your brake cable. 
  4. Sorry, no dogs or other pets are allowed on the route, with the exception of trained service animals. No Service animals are allowed in the long Taft Tunnel per US Forest Service Rules. You can bypass the Taft Tunnel by heading over the 506 (Roland Pass) and park over at West Portal. 
  5. Please do not litter! Bring everything out with you that you brought in. Pack it in - Pack it out! 
  6. E-Bikes

    Lookout Associates operates under a Special Use Permit thruough the USDA Forest Service (FS). Within our permit we are authorized to operate Class 1 e-bikes.
    The FS definition of a Class 1 e-bike is that the e-bike is equipped with a motor that provides assistance ONLY when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches the speed of 20 MPH.
    Class 2 e-bikes are allowed within the Special Permit area so long as the E-Bikes throttle has been disabled for the enitre trail and checked by Hiawatha Trail staff to fit within the FS definition of a Class 1 e-bike.
    Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited at all times.


  • Remove sunglasses before entering a tunnel and don't forget to turn on your light before entering and turn it off after passing through. 
  • Bring a jacket, sweater or sweatshirt even on warm days, expecially for the long Taft Tunnel as it registers a cool 47 degrees year round.  This is natures A/C and it is appreciated on hot days along the trail. 
  • We suggest walking your bike into a tunnel until your eyes have adjusted to the darkness.
  • You may walk your bike through a tunnel if you are uncertain of your ability to ride through tunnels safely.
  • Do not stop in the middle of the route or tunnels.  Pull off to the side to stay out of the way of others. Do not block the route.
  • Rear reflectors on bicycles are recommended.
  • Be courteous of oncoming riders and stay to the right. If you are riding uphill, please yield to downhill travelers.
  • Pull off to the side if you encounter a vehicle in a tunnel.
  • Use casual speeds. This is a scenic trail - not a race course.
  • Standing still? Stand aside so others can easily pass.
  • Be alert.
  • Keep right, pass others on your left, and provide an audible warning, Say "Passing - on your left", before passing.
  • Pets are not allowed. Do you have a service animal? View more information about service animals on the Hiawatha Trail here.
  • Use restrooms at the trailheads, Roland, Adair & at the bottom of the trail. Please do not dirty the woods. 
  • Do not throw rocks or other itmes from or off a trestle.  There may be people below you.
  • View wildlife from a distance. Do not attempt to feed or pet a wild animal.
  • Come prepared with water and snacks and rain gear, if necessary.
  • Check tires and the functionality of your bike and other equipment before riding the trail.
  • Leave artifacts and other objects of interest in place along the route for others to enjoy.
  • Trail Marshals are happy to assist with reasonable accommodation needs and information.

If you are interested in adaptive biking on the Hiawatha trail, please visit our adapative biking information page.

NOTE: There are numerous tunnels and high trestles.  This route is not recommended for people with claustrophobia or fear of heights.

We hope you enjoy your visit to the National Forest and we thank you for visiting. Have a fun, safe and enjoyable time on the ROUTE OF THE HIAWATHA.