Waterfalls in Section 1

Moyie Falls
Take US Highway 2, exiting just west of the Moyie River Bridge at Moyie Springs; proceed for 0.5 mile until turning left on a residential road flanking a lumberyard; continue on this street for 0.5 mile where you will find numerous parking pullouts providing picture-perfect views of the falls.

With awe-inspiring scenery and easy vehicle accessibility, Moyie Falls is undoubtedly one of Idaho’s great natural attractions. Crashing through a rocky canyon, the Moyie River descends in tiered form. While the upper portion plummets 60 to 100 feet under an obsolete bridge connecting the gorge, the lower portion tumbles 20 to 40 feet.

Smith Falls
For easy access, take US Highway 95 north of Bonners Ferry for 15 miles; next, turn north onto Scenic Road 1 and proceed 1 mile before turning west (left) onto an unmarked, paved road; continue for 5 miles, crossing the Kootenai River during your drive; at West Side Road #417, bear north (right) to locate a marked viewing area of the falls in approximately 8 miles

Plunging 60 feet along Smith Creek, Smith Falls offers visitors of all ages vehicle accessible views. Sightseers, however, are advised to follow all posted regulations as the falls and viewing area are located on private property.

Falls Creek Falls
Exit Scenic Route 3 approximately 0.5 mile northeast of St. Maries; turn east onto St. Joe River Road and proceed 10.5 miles; note Shadowy St. Joe Camp and continue forward 4.5 miles until reaching a parking area near Falls Creek Bridge where the falls can be seen.

Descending as a wide stream from the broad St. Joe River, Falls Creek Falls drops 20 to 30 feet on private property. Enclosed by St. Maries Ranger District in the St. Joe National Forest, Falls Creek Falls is situated at 1,980 feet and is easily accessible.

Torrelle Falls
At Priest River, ID, depart US Highway 2 onto Scenic Route 57; continue 8.5 miles north to locate the falls on the west side of the road.

Descending from a narrow stream into a pool below, Torrelle Falls is easily accessible by vehicle. At the bottom of the cataract’s 10 to 15 foot descent, visitors will find a unique restaurant extending across the West Branch Priest River.

Mission Falls
Take Scenic Route 57 19 miles north of Priest River, ID

After visiting Torrelle Falls, continue north to locate Mission Falls descending 5 to 10 feet along the Upper West Branch Priest River in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, Priest Lake Ranger District. For close-up access, park across the river on the northeast side of the bridge and using a jeep trail, walk for 0.2 mile to a road junction. After taking a right fork at this junction, continue down the path for 1.5 miles more, turning right at all following junctions. As you approach the river, follow the well-used trail a few hundred yards to the falls.

Snow Creek Falls
Take US Highway 2/95 south of Bonners Ferry for 2.5 miles; at the golf course, bear right onto Moravia Road for 3 miles; next, turn right on West Side Road #417 and continue for approximately 2 miles; at the junction of Road #417 and Snow Creek Road #402, turn left (west) and proceed 1.5 miles where a restricted view of the 75 to 125 foot falls is offered

Found in Bonners Ferry Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, Snow Creek Falls is easy to access but offers visitors limited viewing potential.

Rapid Lightning Falls
Turn east onto Scenic Route 200 from US Highway 2/95 and proceed 6 miles; after turning north (left) on Colburn-Culver Road, drive 2.9 miles and bear right at the schoolhouse onto Rapid Lightning Creek Road #629; continue 3.4 miles, stopping at an unmarked turnout

Descending beside Rapid Lightning Creek for 20 to 30 feet, Rapid Lightning Falls are easily accessible. From the turnout point, follow one of the short, well-worn trails to the falls. (Advisory: Rapid Lightning Falls may be located on private property).

Lower Snow Creek Falls
Take US Highway 2/95 south past Bonner’s Ferry for 2.5 miles; bearing right at the golf course onto Moravia Road, continue for 3 miles; at West Side Road #417, turn right and proceed 2 miles to a parking turnout.

Located in the largely undeveloped Bonner’s Ferry Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, these falls descend 50 to 75 feet in multiple threads as Snow Creek divides. From the turnout, locate the north side of Snow Creek and follow the short, nameless trail to the falls. Avoid taking the named trail on Snow Creek’s south side as this follows a ridge and affords no access to the waterfall.

Granite Falls and LaSota Falls
Requiring a fairly easy hike, access Granite Falls by first taking Scenic Route (SR) 57 north for 37 miles from Priest River to Nordman; continue along SR 57 for 13 more miles (2 miles past Nordman, SR 57 converts to Granite Creek Road #30) until you reach the entrance for Stagger Inn Camp and Granite Falls; turning at this entrance, locate the falls’ trailhead at the camp’s southern end.

Actually situated just inside Washington’s border, Granite Falls descends vertically within 50 to 75 feet of the Priest Lake Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. However, easiest entry to these falls is through the northwest tip of Idaho. After reaching the trailhead, note that the sign is misguiding. Instead of following the arrow suggesting that visitors cross a log over the stream, disregard the direction and hike directly past the sign. Walk approximately one hundred yards to reach the cascade. Continue walking upstream to locate LaSota Falls.

Grouse Creek Falls
Exit east at Colburn off US 2/95 and merge onto Colburn-Culver Road; proceed 4.5 miles east, making a left turn onto the unpaved Road #280; winding along Grouse Creek Valley, drive 6 miles to a parking turnout on your right near a dirt road.

Cascading 15 to 20 feet over bedrock in a series of steps, Grouse Creek Falls is found in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest’s Sandpoint Ranger District. After parking at the turnout, visitors will need to take a fairly easy hike. Follow the dirt road for 0.3 mile until it becomes a trail, and then continue onward to reach the falls in another 0.2 mile.

Wellington Creek Falls
To reach the falls, turn east off U.S 2/95 onto Scenic Route 200 and drive 12.2 miles to Trestle Creek Road #275 where you will turn east (left) and continue for 13 miles to Lightning Creek Road #419; turn south (right) and proceed along Lightning Creek Road past Char Falls for 4.2 miles until you arrive at Augor Road #489; bearing west (right), go across Lightning Creek to a bumpy road on your left; further vehicle access does require 4-wheel drive, but visitors can choose to hike the road

Wellington Creek Falls promises visitors a sight worth seeing as these falls tumble 50 to 75 feet amidst abundant foliage. Located in the Sandpoint Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle’s National Forest, the falls require a moderate hike as well as caution when nearing the fall’s unfenced ledge. After parking your vehicle, walk 0.4 mile and turn right at the fork. Proceed along the road’s last 0.4 mile. Listening for the falls, hike upstream toward Wellington Creek where overviews of the falls can be found.

Copper Falls
Road #2517 affords visitors with the most direct route to the falls; sightseers can choose to turn off US Highway 95 onto Road #2517 14 miles northeast of the Scenic Road 1 junction or 0.7 mile south of the Eastport border crossing; travel 2 miles on this rough gravel road until you reach Copper Falls Trail #20

At an elevation of 3,400 feet in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest’s Bonners Ferry Ranger District, Copper Creek plunges 160 feet from a cliff to form Copper Falls. Visitors should be prepared for a short, moderately steep 0.3-mile hike to the falls.

Willow Creek Falls
To locate, take Exit 68 off Interstate 90 at Mullan and proceed east through town; this route heads right and becomes Willow Creek Road in 1.5 miles; drive 1.5 miles more until the road ends at an unused set of railroad tracks near Willow Creek Trail #8008 following this trail, hike 2 miles to the falls’ viewing area.

Accessible from late summer to early autumn, Willow Creek Falls are located near the Bitterroot Divide separating Idaho and Montana. Parking at the road’s end, visitors should take Trail #8088 and make a modest, 2-mile hike to reach the East Fork Willow Creek’s 10 to 20 foot cascade.

Stevens Lake Falls
Taking Exit 68 off Interstate 90, drive through Mullan and proceed east; in 1.5 miles, this street turns right and converts into Willow Creek Road; passing under I-90, follow this road to its end at a set of old railroad tracks (approximately another 1.5 miles)

Stevens Lake Falls are situated near the Bitterroot Divide in the Wallace Ranger District of St. Joe National Forest. Accessible late summer until early fall, this tiered waterfall requires visitors to engage in a fairly difficult day hike. For those enjoying a challenge, close-up views of the falls’ 30 to 50 foot descents in both upper and lower tiers awaits. After parking at the road’s end, hike 2 miles on Willow Creek Trail #8008 past Willow Creek Falls. The trail becomes much steeper, but continue 0.2 mile to reach the lower tier or 0.4 mile for a view of the upper falls.

Myrtle Creek Falls
Drive west on Riverside Road from US Highway 2/95 in Bonners Ferry; this road parallels the south shore of the Kootenai River, and once it leaves Bonners Ferry it turns into County Road #18; proceed approximately 5 miles, driving past the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge; the road will soon make a sharp left bend and in 2 miles, the Wildlife Refuge office will become visible; locate the Myrtle Creek Falls trailhead across from the Refuge office on Auto Trail Road

Visitors are urged to bring bug repellent while viewing this waterfall in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. From the trailhead, hike the very steep trail 0.2 mile until reaching a viewing area of the large cascade halfway up the falls.

Jeru Creek Falls
Turning northwest at Samuels off US Highway 2/95, merge onto Pack River Road and proceed 9 miles to Jeru Creek’s north side where an unmarked parking area is located

At an elevation of 3,060 feet, Jeru Creek rushes down 100 to 150 feet on land that is likely private property. Although offering a spectacular scene, this destination requires a moderate hike on an undeveloped trail. All visitors are urged to wear sturdy hiking boots, and the site is not recommended for young children or those with any physical limitations. Leaving the parking area, hike for 1 mile along a rarely used four-wheel drive road that soon becomes a primitive trail. When it seems that the trail has ended, keep walking as the descent to the falls will shortly appear.

Char Falls
To access, turn east off US Highway 2/95 onto Scenic Route 200 and proceed for 12.2 miles to Trestle Creek Road #275; turn east (left) and continue for 13 miles until you reach Lightning Creek Road #419; here, turn south (right), driving 0.6 mile to an unpaved road on the left where parking is available.

Situated within the Idaho Panhandle National Forest’s Sandpoint Ranger District, Char Falls is the result of Lightning Creek crushing 50 to 75 foot descent down a bedrock surface. Requiring a fairly difficult hike, Char Falls provides visitors with outstanding scenery as the falls are bordered with coniferous trees. After parking, hike 0.5 mile along a rock-strewn road until it ends at a broad trail. Proceeding on this trail for 20 yards, notice a faint path appear on the right, and take this path for approximately 100 yards to the fall’s precipice. Be careful in this area as the overlook is unfenced.

Upper Priest Falls
Take Scenic Route (SR) 57 for 37 miles from Priest River, ID to Nordman, ID; passing through Nordman, continue on SR 57 (which turns into Granite Creek Road #30 2 miles past Nordman) for 13 more miles and take the entrance road to Stagger Inn Camp; here, proceed north on Road #302 for 1.7 miles and then turn right on Road #1013, which later becomes Road #637; drive approximately 11.5 miles and park at the Upper Priest River Trailhead #308.

Located within the solitude of Idaho’s northwestern tip, the Upper Priest River tumbles 100 to 125 feet to form Upper Priest Falls. Also known as American Falls to differentiate it from Canadian Falls located upstream, these falls are easiest to visit during early summer through late fall. From Trailhead #308, visitors should be prepared to take a difficult day hike along a 9-mile trail that winds along Upper Priest River and ends at the falls. Alternatively, if your four-wheel drive vehicle has high clearance, continue driving for another 11 miles along Road #637 until you reach Continental Trail #28. Hike north on Trail #28 for 0.7 mile, turning right on Trail #308 for the final 1.5 miles to the falls.

The following Idaho waterfalls are also located in this section with limited directions/access available:

Rambiker Falls, Fern Falls, and Shadow Falls
All three of these relatively unknown waterfalls lie within Idaho’s Shoshone County in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Little information exists in reference to Rambiker Falls, but it appears on topographic maps that a road passes by the falls while hiking towards St. Joe Lake near the Bitterroot Divide. Directions to Fern Falls and Shadow Falls are vague, but it is known that both are located in Shoshone County north of Kellogg near Prichard. To reach Fern Falls, situated at an elevation of 3,280 feet, as well as the 25-foot cascade of Shadow Falls, follow Yellow Dog Trail paralleling Yellow Dog Creek. Hiking for approximately 100 to 300 yards, visitors can readily reach the falls for best viewing in spring and early summer.

Cooper Gulch Falls
While Cooper Gulch Falls is actually situated within Montana, northeastern Idaho provides easiest admittance to the falls. It appears that crossing Thompson Pass on the Bitterroot Divide east of Murray and Prichard, ID may provide visitors with some access.

McAbee Falls
McAbee Falls, contained within Bonner County near the Priest Lake Ranger District, offers visitors minimal access as few directions to the falls exist. Viewing of topographic maps, however, suggests that a bridge crosses Priest River near the falls.

Johnson Creek Falls
Situated within the Sandpoint Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, Johnson Creek Falls is near Lake Pend Oreille at Clark Fork, ID on US Highway 200. An unmarked road passing near the falls in Bonner County is shown on topographic maps.

Hellroaring Creek Falls
Located in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest’s Sandpoint Ranger District, Hellroaring Creek Falls are found off US Highway 2/95 near Colburn, ID, but are remote and inaccessible to visitors.

Chute Creek Falls, Kalispell Falls, and LaSota Falls
Found near the Idaho Panhandle National Forest’s Priest Lake Ranger District, these remote falls are actually contained within Washington’s borders. However, no roads or trails are found leading to either Chute Creek Falls or Kalispell Falls.

Caribou Falls
Caribou Falls may be the most remote waterfall within the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Situated in Boundary County, topographic maps illustrate no roads or trails leading to the falls.

Home | Free Brochures | Bookstore | Idaho Travel and Vacation Planner | Idaho Real Estate and Relocation Information | Idaho Tour

Copyright ©2010 New Times Media Corporation - All Rights Reserved