Hiking Project Logo

A loop trail that will take you to see three beautiful waterfalls along Elk Creek.


Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

2.8

Miles

4.5

KM

Loop

2,863' 873 m

High

2,400' 732 m

Low

579' 177 m

Up

579' 177 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

This is a great route for choosing your own adventure. Depending on how much time you have and the fitness level of your group, you can choose to visit one, two, or three of the waterfall overlooks. The upper falls is the smallest cascade, and the trail gets you closer to it than the others. The middle falls is the tallest and the furthest from its overlook, but is the easiest to get to. The lower falls is the most difficult to get to, but has a great view of the falls.

Enjoy the falls, but also make sure to enjoy the flora and fauna along the way! There are lots of trees and flowers to enjoy, and it is a designated birdwatching trail, so keep your eyes peeled and ears alert.

Need to Know

The parking area has several picnic tables and a pit toilet that is maintained once a week. Please be courteous and leave it clean!

Description

There are several possible ways to go at this trail. You can choose to hit any combination of the three falls, and any of it is rewarding. The trail is well-marked, with signs indicating the various turn-offs to reach each waterfall. There are several interpretive trail signs throughout.

The first quarter mile is shaded and mostly flat. The trail then forks - you can decide to go left or right. Going left will take you first to the upper falls, then the middle and lower falls; going right will take you to the lower falls first. If you want to hit the lower falls, I recommend going there first, to start out on a downhill rather than ending on an uphill.

The upper falls is the only one where you can get up close to the water. These falls are not tall, with a tranquil pool and a mostly flat rocky area where you can stand in the middle of the stream. The spur to these falls is about a quarter mile long, with a gentle, switchbacking slope down to the water.

The spur to visit the middle falls viewpoint is very short, but offers a great (albeit distant) view of the tallest of the three main falls. Though it may be tempting to try and get closer, don't; just stay on the trail and enjoy the view.

The spur for the lower falls is the most steep and the longest, but the trail is wide and not at all treacherous. If you are travelling with small kids, this is probably the best of the three to skip. However, the view is very nice and there are benches along the way to stop and take a breather.

Whichever way you choose to go, there are plenty of trees, wildflowers, and birdwatching to enjoy.

Flora & Fauna

Douglas fir, western redcedar, Cornus canadensis (bunchberry)

Contacts

Shared By:

Brett Loertscher with improvements by Daniel McCloskey

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#3120

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#45

in Idaho

#3,120

Overall
6 Views Last Month
221 Since Jun 26, 2021
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Elk Creek middle falls.
Jun 26, 2021 near Orofino, ID
Elk Creek Upper Falls
Jun 26, 2021 near Orofino, ID
Elk creek lower falls.
Jun 26, 2021 near Orofino, ID
Cornus Canadensis (Bunchberry)
Jun 26, 2021 near Orofino, ID

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins