Waterfalls in Section 1
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Cooper Gulch Falls
Johnson Creek Falls
Hellroaring Creek Falls
Chute Creek Falls, Kalispell Falls, and LaSota Falls