Snow Creek Falls

Just like the Myrtle Creek drainage to the north, the Snow Creek drainage also features a waterfall. Two, in fact, not counting the gorge immediately below the upper falls. It’s not even a two-mile hike to both falls on a well-cared-for packed-dirt path shaded by giant pines and western red cedar.

Location Selkirk Mountains
Rating 2.7 out of 5
Difficulty Moderate (some gentle uphill hiking on the way back)
Distance 1.7 miles
Duration 0:31 hours moving time (hiking)
Elevation Gain 132 feet
High Point 2,475 feet (above Upper Falls)
Low Point 2,243 feet (Lower Falls)
Trail Type Out-and-back
Trailbed Packed dirt
Water Snow Creek
Status Unprotected
Administration Kaniksu National Forest
Permits None required
Conditions Excellent
Camping Not available
Maps USGS Moravia
Trailhead On US-95, take the Deep Creek exit about 2 miles south of Bonners Ferry (going north, this is shortly after the Mirror Lake golf course). Follow Deep Creek Loop westwards for 3 miles, then turn right onto Lions Den Road. After .6 miles Lions Den will turn into West Side Road at a right angle. Continue north for another 1.5 miles, then turn left onto Snow Creek Road #402 (Snow Creek is a gravel road with a fair amount of washboarding). Continue for 1.2 miles to the trailhead (it is signed). There is parking for 4-5 cars.

Google Directions (48.668575, -116.420849)

Season May – November. Best during spring runoff
Squirrel Density They’re everywhere!
Features Waterfall, Grove
Distance From
  • Coeur d’Alene 77.2 miles
  • Lewiston 190.9 miles
  • Sandpoint 31.7 miles
  • Seattle 381.4 miles
  • Spokane 103.6 miles
Resources
Nearby Hikes
Date August 12, 2017

The trail is nicely sprinkled with inviting benchesThe trail is a wide single-track, leading lower towards Snow Creek, nicely shaded by a coniferous tree canopy. Shortly after the half-mile mark you’ll happen on a fork, with the left branch leading to the lower falls and the right to the upper. This is signed, and both trails are fairly wide, so don’t mistake them for game trails.

Lower fallsThe left branch leads through a jumble of downed trees (but the path is cleared) to a cedar grove. A short side spur deposits you at a meditative spot with a bench overlooking Quiet Creek. Shortly afterwards you’ll hit on the lower falls, where a wooden stair and observation deck offer prime viewing angles.

Upper fallsBack up to the fork and take the right branch through glens of ferns and old-growth forest to the upper falls. This branch, too, includes a short side spur to a spot on Quiet Creek with a bench. At the upper falls you can step out onto a rocky ledge for a good view of the falls and peer downstream as the water tumbles into a gorge towards the lower falls.

Enjoy this hike? Let us know in the comments below!

Trailhead
Trailhead
The trail is nicely sprinkled with inviting benches
The trail is nicely sprinkled with inviting benches
Cedar grove
Cedar grove
Snow Creek
Snow Creek
Lower falls
Lower falls
Ferns on the way to the upper falls
Ferns on the way to the upper falls
Giant hollow tree on the Upper Falls trail
Giant hollow tree on the Upper Falls trail
Upper falls
Upper falls
Looking downstream from upper falls
Looking downstream from upper falls
Upper falls from a different angle
Upper falls from a different angle
Basin below upper falls
Basin below upper falls
Quiet Creek
Quiet Creek
Trailmap

© 2016 – 2017 NaughtyHiker. All rights reserved. No duplication without permission.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. montucky says:

    That would be an excellent hike for a morning or afternoon, and an excellent way to introduce folks to the outdoors who have nvere hiked much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. naughtyhiker says:

      Very true. This and the Myrtle Creek Falls trail, which isn’t far away. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. montucky says:

        Keep up this excellent blog long enough and you will have a lot of people reading and enjoying it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. naughtyhiker says:

        Well, there a lot more hikes to do around here…I have more than 100 on my to-do list right now and it seems that every time I venture out I find yet another…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. montucky says:

    I well know how that goes! We live in a beautiful part of the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bill Love says:

    We visited Snow Falls on Mother’s Day. In anticipation of a large number of families on this sunny spring afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service cranked the dial up to the high flow position. Personally I enjoy the gentle summertime trickle of water cascading over the rocks more than during spring runoff. But you have to see the falls at this time of the year to appreciate the energy of water.

    Thanks, NH.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. naughtyhiker says:

      It was quite a wet spring; all the creeks seem to carry lots of water. We were out in Odessa a couple of weeks ago, expecting mud flats and not much else. Instead, all the lakes and creeks were full of water! I bet Palouse Falls is very impressive right now.

      Like

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