Saturday, October 29, 2016

Elk Creek Falls, Clearwater County, Idaho

Lower Falls
Middle Falls
Elk Creek Falls is a impressive series of falls just a short distance from the city of Elk River and Elk Creek Reservoir. From the parking lot there are several well-marked trails to the falls, one of which is a wide old wagon trail. There are 3 major falls.  The upper is the smallest of the falls, dropping about 25 feet; the middle falls are the largest with a 90 foot drop (actually two falls with a small pool in between); and the lower falls drop 50 feet. Elk Creek (is not called Elk RIVER) eventually empties into the North Fork of the Clearwater River. Locals regularly swim between the middle and lower falls in a well-defined pool; just below this pool there is a narrow funnel called the suck, because when you swim in it, it sucks you under and then spits you out. This swimming area is kind of a natural water park. When viewing the middle falls you will find a sign with information about the middle falls, and this is the place where most people start to head down to the swimming area. Swim at your own risk, as it’s not a designated swim area and at certain times of the year the water is very swift. The creek can also increase in speed quickly due to any flash floods upstream. Know your swimming abilities well and do not take risks. These falls create a natural barrier were fish can not pass. There are no fish between the upper and lower falls. Fishing: Above upper falls and below lower falls - Eastern Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, Westslope Cutthroat Trout. Directions: From Moscow Idaho on HWY 95, take HWY 8 almost east all the way to Elk River, then follow the sign to Elk Creek Falls. You can also access the falls via gravel road or hiking trails from Moose Cove Campground on Elk River Reservoir. Maps: View interactive google map above or visit type in GPS coordinates 46.744253, -116.181194
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... Developed paths/non-motorized road to waterfalls overlooks that are accessible to wheelchairs/wheeled mobility devices. Primitive single track trails to some of the falls; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Fully accessible restrooms. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… Two platforms overlooking waterfalls; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... No; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... No; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Gravel; Terrain: Level to 7% grades over gravel/dirt surfaces on main path/road; H2O/Water: No Drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies. Heavily forested area with lots of shade, can be very cold during cool times of the year; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Elk River, ID.
Upper Falls

Natural water park between Middle and Lower Falls. Absolutely not accessible to wheelchairs/wheeled mobility devices

This Google Map includes Elk Creek Reservoir 

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