Hikes in the Bannock Range Area

Corral Creek
Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: moderate
Usage: moderate
Location: From Pocatello, drive south on South Arthur Street as it becomes Bannock Highway and heads up Mink Creek Canyon. After reaching the signed boundary for the Caribou National Forest, proceed 4.1 miles to a road junction. Ignoring the junction, stay on Bannock Highway and locate the fenced trailhead parking area in approximately 50 yards.

Dogwood, aspens, willows, and chokecherry bushes partially shade hikers as this trail climbs beside a wildflower meadow and switchbacks up Corral Creek Canyon to the 6,490-foot summit of Corral Creek. Hikers begin with a gentle uphill climb, crossing over Corral Creek and reaching a natural spring. Although the creek and spring appear harmless, they actually contain high levels of arsenic and should not be used for drinking water (even with a filter). Continuing to climb, the trail provides views of Scout Mountain and other peaks in the Bannock Mountain Range before reaching its destination at the summit at the 2-mile mark. Best months for hiking are June and September due to cooler temperatures in the area.

Gibson Mountain Loop
Distance: 8 mile loop
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: moderate
Usage: moderate
Location: From Pocatello, drive south on South Arthur Street as it becomes Bannock Highway. 4.7 miles south of Pocatello’s center and across the road from the county club, bear right (south) onto Gibson jack Road. Proceed 3.3 miles and locate the Gibson Jack Trail leaving straight from the trailhead.

This trail is thickly lined with foliage and wildflowers as it winds near Gibson Jack Creek and up a ridge to great views of Pocatello, the Pocatello and Portneuf Ranges, and Portneuf Gap. Climbing above Gibson Jack Creek, hikers will reach a trail junction at the 2-mile mark and should proceed left up the South Fork of Gibson Jack Creek. At approximately the 3.75-mile mark, veer left on the obvious trail leading up and over the densely forested Gibson Mountain. Stay to the left at all further forks as the trail climbs on the rocky ridge separating Gibson Jack Creek and Dry Creek and back down to the trailhead. Best months for hiking are June through September, with the best wildflower views found in early June.

Scout Mountain-East Fork of Mink Creek
Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: easy
Usage: heavy
Location: From Pocatello, drive south on South Arthur Street as it becomes Bannock Highway and heads up Mink Creek Canyon. After reaching the marked boundary for the Caribou National Forest, continue 1 mile and bear left onto the East Fork of Mink Creek-Scout Mountain Road for 6 miles. Turning right, drive past the picnic area to locate Trail 064 leaving from the East Fork of Mink Creek Trailhead.

A popular area for Pocatello residents, this trail climbs through forest up Scout Mountain’s west slope, to a plateau area, and to an old beaver pond. Although the trail is scenic and worth the easy hike, hikers should expect company from mountain bikers, equestrians, and ATV users. Ignoring a trail leaving to the right at the 1-mile mark, proceed to the plateau area where views of Arbon Valley can be found. At the 1.75-mile mark, hikers will encounter another trail junction, but should disregard the trail leading east to Box Canyon. As the trail levels out, most hikers stop at the 2-mile mark beside an abandoned beaver bond. Best months for hiking are late June and September.

Optional Hikes: Hikers may opt to continue past the beaver pond 1 mile to the trail’s junction with the Scout Mountain Top Road. From here, many hikers take the steep, 2-mile climb to the Scout Mountain’s summit.

West Fork of Mink Creek
Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
Climb: gentle
Difficulty: easy
Usage: heavy
Location: From Pocatello, drive south on South Arthur Street as it becomes Bannock Highway and heads up Mink Creek Canyon. After reaching the marked boundary for the Caribou National Forest, proceed another 3.2 miles to the trailhead on the road’s right side.

Heading up the West Fork of Mink Creek Canyon, this trail traverse between open, wildflower slopes and densely forested areas that provide a canopy of shade to hikers. A perfect hike for families, this scenic trail begins gently climbing from the trailhead, and after 0.5 miles a possible side hike trail is found. Disregard this faint trail and continue up the main trail 2.5 more miles to the headwaters of West Fork of Mink Creek. Beaver ponds characterize the area, and several hikers report moose sightings here. Best months for hiking are mid-April to mid-November.

Optional Hikes: At the 0.5-mile mark, proceed left on the faint trail that leads up Chimney Creek Canyon. This canyon is densely vegetated, and the 0.5-mile trail winds along a brook, passes a few beaver ponds, and ends at a natural spring.

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