Nestled in Montana’s northwestern corner along the Montana-Idaho state border, Noxon is a small community in Sanders County known for its huckleberry harvesting and forest cover mountains historically used for trapping, logging, and mining.
Established in 1883 as a Northern Pacific Railway Station, Noxon, MT, quickly grew as an important logging and mining industry. Then, in 1955, the Noxon Rapids Dam was constructed, reshaping the Clark Fork River and its nearby communities.
Guide to Noxon, Montana
Between the Noxon Rapids Dam and Cabinet Gorge Dam located further down the river, Noxon is perhaps best known for its monumental water barriers and logging industry. However, the region has also become a popular tourist destination and is world-renowned for its huckleberry harvesting and pristine hunting conditions.
Ross Ancient Cedars State Park
Tucked away in the Kootenai National Forest about 26 miles North of Noxon, the Ross Ancient Cedars State Park spans approximately 100 acres across Montana’s countryside and features some of the oldest trees in the state.
Dating up to 100 years old, the historic western red cedar grove includes trees that reach well over 175 high and over 8 feet in diameter, creating thick canopies that shade the crackling Ross Creek, which weaves its way through the park.
The State Park maintains a 0.9-mile loop trail that guides visitors through the ecology and history of the region through a series of informational signs.
Along the route, guests will learn about the unique flora and fauna that preside in the area while exploring the distinctive habitation that the grove provides.
Berray Mountain Lookout
Located in the mountains just North of Noxon, the Berray Mountain Lookout was initially built in 1965 and remained in operation until 1973 for the use of fire detection in the area. Today, the tower remains primarily abandoned, although restoration efforts are currently being made to preserve the monument.
While it is no longer used to monitor wildfires in Sanders County, the Berray Mountain Lookout still offers some of the best-unobstructed views of the Cabinet Mountains and surrounding landscapes and is a famous landmark for hikers in the region.
While there are several ways to do the hike, the easiest is by taking the Berray Mountain West Trail. From here, the walk is only about 2 miles to the lookout tower and guides visitors through the forested mountains and along fields of waste-high wildflowers.
Alternatively, hikers can take the traditional 10.9-mile out-and-back trail starting from the trailhead just north of Noxon. While this is the more difficult option and features an additional 2,500 feet of elevation gain, it is also more rewarding and offers plenty of fantastic views along the way.
Regardless of your route to the landmark, the Berray Mountain Lookout is one of the top attractions near Noxon and is a must-visit within the region for observing the full beauties of Sanders County’s majestic landscapes.
Noxon Rapids Dam
Completed in 1959, the Noxon Rapids Dam spans the length of the Clark Fork River and stands approximately 260 feet high. Located just downriver South of Noxon, the hydroelectric dam is a famous example of human engineering and manipulation in the region. It leads into the Noxon Reservoir, a popular fishing and boating spot in the area.
Visitors to the dam can explore the facility along one of the many hiking trails that guide guests through the property. Along the way, visitors will pass by historical monuments, including a Northern Pacific Railroad line and a public sculpture park.
Informational signs are readily available throughout the complex and provide guests with further insights into the monumental dam’s history, development, and operations.
Kootenai National Forest
Spanning 2.2 million acres across Montana’s northwesternmost regions, the Kootenai National Forest contains several iconic landmarks and is home to some of Montana’s most biologically diverse ecosystems.
Located in the park’s southwestern corner, Noxon provides easy access to many of the preservation’s natural wonders. From exploring the Cabinet Mountains in the town’s backyard to venturing along the Clark Fork River, the Kootenai National Forest offers visitors plenty of opportunities to reconnect with nature.
While venturing through the protected forests, visitors will spot such native species that include elk, whitetail and mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose, mountain lions, and both black and grizzly bears.
Nestled along the Clark Fork River in the southern region of the Kootenai National Forest, Noxon offers plenty of hiking trails for visitors that hope to enjoy the region’s natural beauty.
Both the nearby river and the Cabinet Mountain Range offer fantastic hiking trails riddled with breathtaking views through various and diverse ecological zones.
While there are hundreds of fantastic trails for visitors to enjoy, some of the best hikes near Noxon include the Berray Mountain Lookout, Star Peak Lookout, the Dad Peak Trail, and the Saint Paul Lake trail.
With so much natural beauty surrounding Noxon, one of the best ways to experience the region is by spending the night at one of the town’s surrounding campgrounds.
The Bull River Campground north of Noxon is managed by the Kootenai National Forest and features 26 fully serviced sites with potable water, flush/vault toilets, tables, ring fires, and a boat launch dock.
Alternatively, potential campers can book a site at the Marten Creek Campground located on the Noxon Reservoir’s southern shores.
Between the Clark Fork River and the Noxon Reservoir, Sanders County boasts some of the most prestigious fishing waters in the state.
Located practically in the town’s backyard, the Noxon Reservoir is a popular fishing destination and is home to 25 species of both native and introduced fish. Some of the most common catches in the reservoir include Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, and Yellow Bullhead.
Only 16 miles from Noxon, Thunder ridge Riding Center operates from the Montana-Idaho border. It offers a series of horseback riding experiences along various guided trails through the Cabinet Mountains and surrounding wildernesses.
- Two Rivers RV Park & Campground
- Amber Bear Inn
- Bighorn Lodge
- The Lodge at Trout Creek
- Lakeside Motel & Resort
- June- Hot Springs Homesteaders Day– Hot Springs
- June- Annual Yard Sale– Thompson Falls
- August- Sanders County Fair and Rodeo– Plains
- August- Annual Avista Charity Golf Tournament– Thompson Falls
- August- Annual Big Sky Blues Festival– Noxon
- August- Annual Huckleberry Festival– Trout Creek
Activities Near Noxon
- Thompson Falls, MT (36.8 miles)
- Sandpoint, ID (50.4 miles)
- Post Falls, ID (100.2 miles)
- Kalispell, MT (144 miles)
- Whitefish, MT (158.3 miles)
- Triangle Pond
- Pilgrims Creek Park
- Bull River Campground
- Two Rivers RV Park & Campground
- Thunder Ridge Riding Center
- Rivers Bend Golf Course
National and State Parks
- Ross Ancient Cedars State Park
- Kootenai National Forest
- Lone Pine State Park
- Thompson Falls State Park
Restaurants and Services
What is the Cost of Living in Noxon?
With an overall cost of living index of 92.4, living in Noxon is considered slightly cheaper than living in other regions of the state and country.
With median home costs averaging $293,100, buying a home in Noxon is more affordable than Montana’s national average of $353,700.
Is Noxon Safe?
Crime rates in Noxon are about 19% higher than the national average, making it safer than only 19% of all cities in the United States.
With a 1 in 36 chance of becoming a victim of crime in Noxon, visitors to the town are advised to exercise a basic degree of caution when visiting the community.
What is Noxon Known For?
Noxon is historically known for its historic railway station and logging, hunting, and trapping industry. Today the region is famous for its huckleberry harvests and doorway to the natural attractions of Kootenai National Forest.