Coeur d'Alene Field Office

Blue Creek Bay Trail and Recreation Site

Trail Map

Blue Creek Bay Recreation Site, located within the Wallace Forest Conservation Area, is a small, three unit picnic area with non-motorized boat launch. It was a former log landing used to dump logs into Lake Coeur d’Alene where they would be floated down to one of several mills in the area. 

From 1991 through 2003, the BLM acquired 736 acres around Blue Creek Bay to provide public access to the lake and for their conservation, recreation, and historical values. The BLM’s acquisition of this area would not have been possible without the support from the Wallace Forest family, who desired this area to be managed for its conservation values.

The upland forested areas consisting of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, grand fir, western larch, western white pine, western redcedar, and western hemlock are home to wild turkeys, whitetail deer, coyotes, bears, meadowlarks, and woodpeckers. As a result of past timber harvests, the area contains a mosaic of trees of varying sizes and types. Old logging roads and skid trails traverse the property and have traditionally been used by hikers and equestrian users to access the upland portion of the property. A large wetland/riparian and wet meadow area extends along the head of Blue Creek Bay with black cottonwood, thin-leaf alder, red-osier dogwood, cattails, reed canarygrass, sedges, rushes, and bulrushes. Several meadows are also found in the upper portions of the property. 

A portion of the Mullan Road, the first constructed overland wagon route through the Northern Rockies, crosses through the uplands. Completed by hand in 1862, the trail connected points east of the Continental Divide to Fort Walla Walla, WA.

Directions: Six miles east of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Follow Interstate 90 east from Coeur d’Alene for eight miles to the Wolf Lodge Bay exit (Exit 22), then turn north and follow the Yellowstone Trail Road for about two miles, then turn south onto the Landing Road which leads to the site.  

Facilities/Fees:

  • No fee
  • Day use area only
  • Boat launching area designed for non-motorized/hand-carried watercraft
  • The boat launch is most accessible when water levels in Lake Coeur d’Alene allow safe boat launching; typically from Memorial Day through late October.
  • Fishing/swimming dock
  • Mooring (day-use only)
  • Delineated parking area
  • 3 picnic sites with grills & tables
  • Vault toilet
  • Pets on leash
  • Trail access
  • No occupancy or use of the public lands from one hour after sundown to one hour before sunrise.
  • No overnight boat moorage on any BLM-managed structure or shoreline.
  • All fires must be contained only within permanently installed fire grates or grills.
  • No discharge of firearms (powered by compressed gas or gunpowder) for hunting, target practice or other purposes except that:
    • Waterfowl hunters may hunter waterfowl below the high water mark of Lake Coeur d’Alene within Blue Creek Bay.
  • No motor vehicles are allowed off county roads.
  • No firewood cutting or collecting. 

Blue Creek Bay (foreground) with Wolf Lodge Bay and Mineral Ridge in middleground

Wallace Forest Conservation Area - Aerial View