Station 16: Summit
This is the summit of the Mineral Ridge Trail (please see map). You have climbed to an elevation of 2,800 feet, a rise of 660 feet from the parking lot. The main loop trail continues to the west and returns to the parking lot. The Wilson M.M. & M. trail to the east connects with the Lost Man Trail. The total length of these two trails is less than one mile. However, they do not form a loop and dead end where the Lost Man Trail intersects the Elk Mountain Road (Forest Service Road Number 1575). Along these spur trails are two view points of Wolf Lodge Bay, Wolf Lodge Creek and the surrounding Coeur d’Alene Mountains. The trails traverse slopes with northerly exposures with moist and cool grand fir, hemlock and cedar habitat types. You can also see a soil profile of the north slope of Mineral Ridge. This cut is much deeper than the first one you looked at. It also has a thick topsoil layer that is formed in weathered volcanic ash. This ash originated from Mt. Mazama over 6,000 years ago. A huge volcanic eruption blew the top off the mountain to form present day Crater Lake in Oregon. The ash was wind blown hundreds of miles to its present resting place. Because it is light and fluffy, it helps this soil absorb much more water than it would without it.
The rewarding view from the summit of Mineral Ridge trail.