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)
Features
  • Waterfall
  • Grove
  • Outing Type
  • Daytrip
  • Trail Type
  • Out-and-back
  • Trailbed
    Packed dirt
    Trail#
    189
    Water
  • Snow Creek
  • Camping
    • Not available
    Conditions
    • Excellent
    Administration
  • Kaniksu National Forest
  • Status
  • Unprotected
  • Maps
    USGS
  • Moravia
  • Fees & Permits
  • None required
  • ()
    Open To
  • Hikers
  • Dogs
  • ()
    Directions
  • 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.
  • Season
    May – November. Best during spring runoff
    Resources
      Date
      August 12, 2017

      The 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.

      The 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.

      Back 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.

      Alternate Routes

        Things to Consider

          Not so great

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

            8 Comments

            1. 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.

              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.

            2. montucky says:

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

            3. 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!

              1. naughtyhiker says:

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

                1. montucky says:

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

                  1. 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…

            Comments are closed.