Tubbs Hill: Coeur d’Alene Hiking
Located south of downtown Coeur d’Alene, Tubbs Hill rises gently above the surrounding urban landscape. With pine foresting, numerous trails, and picturesque views of the surrounding area and Coeur d’Alene Lake, Tubbs Hill is the most prominent geographical landmark for town residents – so long as you’re not considering The Coeur d’Alene Resort and its adjacent placement downtown Cd’A.
Parking at McEuen Park + Other Parking
Tubbs is easily accessible from downtown CDA and the neighboring Garden District on the hill’s east side. With plenty of parking near McEuen Park and free, though limited, parking near the eastern entrance, there is no shortage of entry to this iconic scenery. Even during peak tourism season during the middle of summer, the hill is not known for crowds or high traffic, thanks to its large size and expansive trail system.
Tubbs Hill Hiking Trails
Known for its breathtaking views of Coeur d’Alene Lake and beautiful vegetation, the surplus of trails only makes enjoying Tubbs Hill much easier. There are options for both beginners to intermediate hikes, from nearly flat and smooth trails to rugged and primarily uphill climbing gauntlets. The main trail will take you from the downtown entrance to the east entrance on the opposing side of the hill, with visibility of the lake during the entire journey. The trail is primarily flat, with few variations in terrain, which is excellent for those with children or the movement impaired. At only 2 miles in length, this easy trek is the ideal way to experience Tubbs like a local.
Swimming in Lake Coeur d’Alene
Along the edges of the hill, and usually accessible from the main trail, are numerous beaches and coves that make for superb swimming holes. Many of these spots are shielded by large rocks and trees, offering privacy and an intimate connection with nature. Few swimming spots are accessible. Lake temperatures are warmest during July and August, at around 70 degrees. Night swimming and hiking are popular around Tubbs during the hot summer days. However, be wary of park hours and check official sources like the Coeur d’Alene Parks and Recreation department’s government website. Tubbs Hill is considered a city park and follows standard hours of operation.
History of Tubbs Hill
Through its long-standing history, Tubbs Hill has had its public access defended many times. From 1936 to 1973, there were multiple attempts at purchasing parts or the entirety of Tubbs Hill for commercial and private use. These attempts were met with active objections from the CDA community, and were eventually unable to move forward. The hill was granted public ownership in 1974 and has since been mostly protected as a city park for all to enjoy. There is an exception for one road and a few homes that made it on the hill before it became protected. If you’re interested in learning more about the unique history and battle for this CDA legacy landmark, consider heading to the Friends of Tubbs Hill website.