Waterfalls in Section 2

Selway Falls
US Highway 12 to Lowell; turn southeast, proceeding 18 miles on Selway River Road #1614

Tumbling 50 feet in multiple threads as the Selway River divides, Selway Falls is situated at an elevation of 1,700 feet in the Moose Creek Ranger District of the Nez Perce National Forest and is easily viewed roadside.

Horsetail Falls
Drive along US Highway 12 paralleling the Lochsa River; proceed to a turnout between mile markers 114 and 115 to view the falls at an elevation of 2,000 feet across the Lochsa River

Located within the Middle Fork Clearwater Wild and Scenic River area of the Lochsa Ranger District, Horsetail Falls drops 60 to 100 feet. Falling from an unnamed stream, this cataract is accessible by vehicle.

Shoestring Falls
US Highway 12 northeast of Lowell; peer across the river between mile markers 115 and 116

An unnamed creek descends 150 to 200 feet in five tiered sections to form Shoestring Falls. Dropping into the Lochsa River, Shoestring Falls are found at an elevation of 1,920 feet within the Middle Fork Clearwater Wild and Scenic River area.

Wild Horse Creek Falls
US Highway 12 northeast of Lowell; locate between mile markers 115 and 116

Wild Horse Creek Falls tumble 40 to 60 feet in two tiers and are located within the Clearwater National Forest’s Lochsa Ranger District. After locating the falls via the road, visitors can use caution and gain a close-up view of the falls by walking along US Highway 12 for 0.1 mile.

Tumble Creek Falls
US Highway 12; gaze east between mile markers 113 and 114

Before falling into the Lochsa River below US Highway 12, Tumble Creek Falls descends 20 to 30 feet. Contained within the Clearwater National Forest’s Lochsa Ranger District, this waterfall is not marked but visitors can view the cataract from the road.

Carey Falls
Exit US Highway 95 1 mile south of Riggins; follow Big Salmon Road #1614 for 23 miles to the Wind River Pack Bridge; advance 0.4 mile to view the falls

Acting as the boundary separating the Gospel Hump and Frank Church River of No Return Wildernesses, Carey Falls is found on the Salmon River. Unlike many other waterfalls, Carey Falls cascades in rapids from several small streams and is easily viewed from the road.

Elk Falls
Follow Scenic Route 8 south for 16 miles from Bovilli toward Elk River; bear south (right) at the marked entrance road, continuing 1.6 miles to a turnout at Elk Creek Canyon Trailhead

Also known as Elk Creek Falls, this waterfall at a 2,550 foot elevation descends vertically for 125 to 150 feet and affords visitors an outstanding scenic feature. Visitors must take a moderate day hike to reach the highest of Elk Creek’s six waterfalls, but most will find the trip worth the effort.

From the trailhead, locate the left fork of the road next to this trail and hike the moderately steep fork for 2 miles to an open area. Rapidly descend to the canyon’s grassy north rim and head right on a trail amid the green slopes to access several viewing areas over 0.2 mile.

Upper Elk Falls
Drive on Scenic Route 8 south of Bovilli toward Elk River for 16 miles; at the marked access road, turn south (right) and continue 1.6 miles to Elk Creek Canyon Trailhead’s parking area

As one of several waterfalls located in the Clearwater National Forest’s Palouse Ranger District, Upper Elk Falls tumbles 30 to 50 feet from a narrow stream into a small pool below. At an elevation of 2,660 feet, Upper Elk Falls does require visitors to take a moderate day hike.

At the trailhead, locate the fork in the road. Taking the left fork, hike along the moderately steep road for 2 miles until reaching a small clearing. At this point, climb down to the canyon’s grassy north rim and then turn left. To reach the falls’ viewing area in approximately 0.3 mile, follow the grassy trail into the woods toward Elk Creek.

Twin Falls and Small Falls
Access the falls in the Clearwater National Forest’s Palouse Ranger District by taking Scenic Route 8; drive south from Bovilli toward Elk River for 16 miles, turning right at a marked access road; continue to the Elk Creek Canyon Trailhead’s parking area in 1.6 miles located beside a fork in the road

Dropping as a series of falls with a large watershed, visitors should expect a moderate day hike to reach the viewing area. From the trailhead, hike on the road’s left fork and proceed 2 miles on the steep trail until reaching a clearing. Here, walk down to the hills of the canyon’s north rim, turning right onto a grassy trail. Continue downstream past Elk Falls for 0.3 miles. At this point, both falls can be viewed at the same time. While Twin Falls drops in 10 to 20 foot segments, Small Falls tumbles vertically for another 10 to 20 feet.

Bull Run Creek Falls
Take Scenic Route 8 south of Bovilli to Elk River for 16 miles; bearing south (right) at a marked access road, continue 1.6 miles to the Elk Creek Canyon Trailhead’s parking area; do not park here, but instead proceed forward along the unnamed road’s right fork to reach another parking area in 1.5 miles

Bull Run Creek Falls cascades 75 to 100 feet and is situated in an undeveloped area of the Elk Creek Falls Recreation Area in Clearwater National Forest. To reach the cataract’s 2,480 feet elevation, visitors should take a moderate day hike along a narrow, faint trail heading to the falls.

Lower Bull Run Creek Falls
To reach the waterfall’s 2,420-foot elevation, drive 16 miles south of Bovilli to Elk River along Scenic Route 8; turn right at the marked access road and proceed 1.6 miles to the parking area near Elk Creek Canyon Trailhead; instead of parking here, locate the unnamed road’s right fork and continue driving 1.5 miles to a second parking area

Rushing down 30 to 50 feet beside Bull Run Creek, these falls are recommended only for experienced, determined hikers ready for a difficult excursion. From the parking area, take the faint, small trail and hike past Bull Run Creek Falls. Proceed downstream 0.1 mile along the ridge and beyond a marshy area. To reach the creek at the base of Lower Bull Run Creek Falls, cautiously climb down the steep tree-lined grade.

Lower Elk Falls
Drive 16 miles south of Bovilli toward Elk River on Scenic Route 8 until reaching a signed entrance road; turn south (right) and continue 1.6 miles to the Elk Creek Canyon Trailhead’s parking area located near a fork in the road

Losing contact with its bedrock surface, Lower Elk Falls drops 75 to 100 feet in the Clearwater National Forest’s Palouse Ranger District. With a large magnitude, Lower Elk Falls is the most powerful waterfall near Elk Creek. However, viewing of this waterfall is recommended only to visitors with strong hiking boots who are ready for modest rock climbing along an undeveloped trail.

Taking the left fork at the trailhead, hike for 2 miles until reaching an open area. Next, descend to the canyon’s north rim of green hills and turn right onto a grassy trail. Proceed 0.6 miles past Elk Falls, Twin Falls, and Small Falls to the trail’s end. For excellent views, walk along a faint trail to the top of a basaltic ledge. However, visitors should use caution at all times as the viewing area is unfenced.

Middle Elk Falls
Follow Scenic Route 8 to Elk River 16 miles south of Bovilli and turn south (right) at the marked access road; drive 1.6 miles to the Elk Creek Canyon Trailhead’s parking area located beside a fork in the road

Situated in the Palouse Ranger District of the Clearwater National Forest, Middle Elk Falls is a favorite location of avid fishermen and determined backpackers fond of creating their own trail. Descending 20 to 30 feet, these falls are most readily viewed from a distance.

At the parking area, travel along the road’s left fork and hike 2 miles along the moderately inclined trail to a small clearing. Here, descend to the green slopes of the canyon’s north rim, turning right onto a trail amid the grassy hills. Locate Elk Falls and then proceed 0.2 mile downstream. To view the falls trailside, gaze down into the chasm.

Jerry Johnson Falls
To access, proceed on US Highway 12 until locating Warm Springs Creek Trail #49, approximately 1 mile east of the Jerry Johnson Campground; park here and use the footbridge to cross the Lochsa River and reach Warm Springs Creek

At an elevation of 3,900 feet, Jerry Johnson Falls requires sightseers to take a fairly difficult day hike, and visitors are recommended to wear appropriate footwear. Found within the Powell Ranger District of the Clearwater National Forest, the falls are formed as Warm Springs Creek tumbles 40 to 70 feet into a large pool below.

After reaching Warm Springs Creek, continue hiking upstream 1.5 miles to the Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. Many visitors choose to rest in these thermal waters, but you will quickly become secluded as you advance past the springs. In approximately 1 mile, the trail crosses a tributary creek. Follow the trail as it rises above Warm Springs Creek for viewing of the falls in 1 more mile.

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

Hoodoo Creek Falls
Found within the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area, Hoodoo Creek Falls lies in Idaho County in central Idaho. Although the falls are located on Hoodoo Creek, access to the falls is uncertain.

Bimerick Falls
Bimerick Falls cascades within Lowell County of Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest. Although topographic maps suggest a rough trail leads to the cataract, little access information is known about this waterfall.

Dead Elk Creek Falls and Patsy Ann Falls
Located in Idaho County in the general vicinity of Warm Springs Creek, both Dead Elk Creek Falls and Patsy Ann Falls are found on detailed topographic maps of this northern Idaho region. While Dead Elk Creek Falls does not appear accessible, Patsy Ann Falls may be viewable from a distance for hikers who carve their own trail.

Slippy Creek Falls
Slippy Creek Falls is located in Idaho County in the general area of the Salmon Wild and Scenic River Area. Topographic maps, however, indicate that the cataract is not likely reachable.

Hazard Falls
Found within Idaho County, Hazard Falls is appropriately named. Topographic maps suggest that the cataract may be accessible, but only after taking a difficult hike. Determined viewers ready for a challenge should be prepared to make their own trail as no developed road leads to this waterfall.

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