Natural Rock Slide

Perhaps the Natural Rock Slide in Kent Creek was once a well-kept secret only known to locals. Unfortunately, the cat’s out of the bag and you will have plenty of company when exploring the falls. Make sure to venture beyond the immediate slide area for magnificent views of several tumbling waterfalls and a lovely catch basin.
  • Selkirk Mountains
2.8 out of 5
Easy (the only obstacle is the creek crossing. Hiking to the upper falls is treacherous and slick)
4.0 miles
1:35 hours moving time (Hiking)
Elevation Gain
588 feet
High Point
4,368 feet (Waterfall)
Low Point
3,716 feet (Trailhead)
  • Grove
  • Waterfall
  • Rock Formation
  • Outing Type
  • Daytrip
  • Trail Type
  • Out-and-back
  • Trailbed
    Old logging road; packed dirt, mud
  • Lion Creek and several tributaries
  • Kent Creek
  • Camping
    • Dispersed camping at the trailhead
    • At the Lion Creek crossing
    • Good. The trail south of Lion Creek is a bit muddy
    • There is no bridge across Lion Creek. It might be an easy rock hop later in the year, but in July you’ll have to wade (about mid-calf deep)
  • Idaho Department of Lands
  • Status
  • Unprotected
  • Maps
  • The Wigwams
  • Fees & Permits
  • None required
  • ()
    Open To
  • Hikers
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Mountain Bikers
  • ()
  • From Priest River, head north on ID-57 for 22 miles, then turn right towards Coolin. After 5 miles, in Coolin, turn right onto East Shore Road. Follow East Shore Road for about 22 miles. Shortly before Lionhead Campground the road turns to gravel. At Lionhead Campground turn right onto road 42 and follow it for 5 miles to a concrete barrier. There is a fork maybe a mile in, where you take a left (the right dead-ends). There are berms along this road about every 100 yards or so, making driving rather tedious. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. At the end of the road is parking for perhaps 4-5 vehicles. Do not park on the side of the road if those spots are filled; instead, continue on as the road switchbacks and immediately ends on a huge parking lot that will easily accommodate a couple dozen or more cars.
  • Season
      July 11, 2020

      This is a very popular location for sliding on the smooth, natural granite, despite the cumbersome access road, resulting in an unexpectedly crowded hike. We encountered easily a dozen different parties on this Saturday afternoon, as opposed to no-one in the morning when we hiked Mollies Lake.

      The trail is easy enough, following on an old logging road to the Lion Creek crossing, about 1.5 miles in. This is in fact a rather pretty location, framed by stately old-growth cedar, some dead, some alive. The crossing is pretty straightforward, but does require a bit of wading by mid-summer; in spring the creek is likely torrid. On the far side the trail gets a bit muddier, as it climbs among thick cedar forest to the rock slide. From the slide area you can continue up along either side of the creek to a grandiose pool and a series of steeper waterfalls beyond. The trail here is less defined and particularly slick.

      Alternate Routes

        Things to Consider

        • The trail north of Lion Creek is part of the Pacific Northwest Trail. If you stay on that side, you’ll end up at Glacier National Park
        • Be careful when sliding in the creek; accidents do occur! You’ll also want some protection from the rocks. People were wearing heavy-duty trash bags

        Not so great

          The trail follows an old logging road to the creek crossing
          Lion Creek, too, has some large granit sheets
          Lion Creek crossing in an ancient cedar grove
          A hole in a humongous cedar
          A little toad hunkering near the edge of Lion Creek
          An uprooted cedar
          The trail south of Lion Creek
          The rock slide, in use
          Another shot of the slide area
          The waterfall was pretty heavy, especially for July
          Naughty enjoying the view
          Another, smaller, waterfall further up that makes for a perfect picnic spot
          Waterfall with pool
          There are several additional waterfalls above the slide area