Our latest adventure was totally inspired by the article I found at Only In Your State for North Idaho waterfalls. Although it was informative I wasn’t able to get good directions or accurate photos of all the falls we wanted to see, but it was enough to get me on the right path, and for that I am beyond grateful. Since we live in Eastern Washington it wasn’t too far of a drive to begin our journey, and our plans changed depending on the time of day so we didn’t see all we wanted to, but that just leaves more for us to seek out next time.
We left home in the afternoon on August 25, 2018 and had initially planned to stay in Wallace, Idaho to do some touristing in the evening and stay overnight and then find our first falls in the morning. Once we realized how late it was before we even made it to Coeur d’ Alene we scrapped that plan and went another direction towards Fern and Shadow Falls.
Thankfully there is plenty of National Forest Camping near all our destinations. We arrived at Devils Elbow Campground late in the evening and found a spot right away, backed in, walked around a bit and then fell fast asleep. click here for more information about Devils Elbow Campground and to make reservations.
The ground was level, thick with beautiful trees and the air was still filled with smoke from all the fires in Canada.
We woke up early to go chasing waterfalls!
Once we turned of hwy 9 it was a dirt road that headed up the mountain.
Once we turned after the second sign it became more narrow and took a bit of time, but having to go so slow gave us a chance to really enjoy nature.
We had no idea what the road would be like until we actually got there…. yes it’s narrow, only room for one vehicle and lets just say that Harvy the RV now earned his stripes! Branch scratches are all down both sides, but whatcha gonna do, gotta get livin’ and using things in life means they’re gonna get some scratches! I like to call them; memory markers 🙂
then the road got a little tighter
Finally arriving to the parking spot we were thankful to be the only ones there.
Finally, we had made it! You can hear the falls but you can’t see them. There is a good size parking area and enough room to turn around in a shorty RV. There is a worn path that will tell you you’re walking in the right direction. First you will come upon Fern Falls and a small bridge.
Once we started heading towards Shadow falls we made the mistake of passing the trail on our right and followed a less traveled trail until it got too thick and realized we’d miss our turn.
Back on track we keep going farther into the woods.
We’ve really arrived…my heart skipped a beat and my mind swirled with overwhelming elation. The feeling of being in this cove of serenity is indescribable.
It’s as if God opened the gates of Heaven and shined down on Earth, right in this very spot.
ahhhhh, just breath in the beauty
Onto the next falls we go….
First let’s get a little lost… we headed north thinking we could just keep going and hit sandpoint…yeah, not a good idea. So after many, many miles we head back the way we came and couldn’t figure out exactly the best route to go to Grouse Creek Falls near Sandpoint.
Without cell service we did what people used to do…we stopped in at the local convenient store and asked for directions.
We were advised to head northeast through Montana right by Thompson Falls (although we could’ve went back through Coeur d’ Alene) they said it was a beautiful drive. After getting great directions we got to know the owners, both father and daughter own the store. They were so welcoming and friendly, stop by and get some delicious ice cream if you are in the area! Try their coffee float too , it was yummy!
On the road again….
We stopped into Thompson Falls (ironically I couldn’t find a waterfall to visit while we were here)
for some dinner at Minnie’s Montana Cafe
With our tummies full we headed north on the 200, once we got pretty close to the next waterfall location we searched for somewhere to sleep for the night.
Mitch backed Harvy in the site and we walked about 150 feet and tada, we were at the Pend Oreille Lake shore
It rained all night, clearing out the smoke and reviving all the wonderous smells of the forest
Grouse Creek Falls
MYRTLE CREEK FALLS
Easy access to the Myrtle Creek Falls
Bridge and bench at Myrtle Creek Falls
The creek flowing under the bridge and setting up to get a picture
After our short hike to Myrtle Creek Falls we made our way just miles north to visit
SNOW CREEK FALLS
make sure you stay to the left when you come up on the “Y’s” on your way to Snow Creek Falls.
We headed out, not knowing what beauty we’d encounter… or the steep climb back
We decided to visit the upper falls first, to get all the steep walking out of the way in the beginning since this was our third waterfall of the day and we were getting worn out.
Setting up to take a picture and parts of the trail to the upper snow creek falls
After spending some time at the upper falls, we then made our way back down to go see the lower Snow Creek Falls
After our trek back to Harvy we were ready to find a place to park it for the night, since we’d planned to head back home the next day we decided to get as close to our next destination as possible. After eating in Sandpoint at Jalapenos, we go west through Priest River and then north near Nordman, Idaho. click here for directions to Luby Bay Campground and to make reservations for a site
Overnight stay at Luby Bay Campground, site #38
It’s a short drive down to the parking area where you will see these massive cedar trees and signs.
There is a trail that goes further back after visiting the overlook, it will take you to LaSota Falls.
Getting to LaSota Falls requires some mountain goating abilities, but it is worth it
During all our outings we were surprised we didn’t encounter more critters, thankfully even the flies, mosquitos and bees weren’t out all buzzing about! We did meet this frog on our way down to the falls.
We walked on these logs and Mitch set up my tripod so I could try to get some good pictures.
Mitch then continued to venture onto the other side snapping some pics of me on the logs
enjoying the splendor of the falls
then Mitch took his own fall, right into the water
I got wrapped up taking some pictures of the miniature falls above LaSota Falls
We headed back down and decided to go piddle around in the stream below Granite Falls before leaving
Granite Falls in the late summer, a thing of wonder
Playing with my camera’s shutter speed makes the same thing look so different
We began to head home, making a count of how many falls we’d seen… Seven falls in three days …Fern Falls, Shadow Falls, Grouse Falls, Myrtle Falls, Snow Falls, Granite Falls and LaSota Falls. That’s pretty awesome! There was one we’d missed and they say it’s right on the side of the road, so we decided to keep an eye out for it. I’d gotten Zoomie (my sigma 300-700mm lens) out during the drive in hopes we’d see an eagle or hawk. What’s that in the sky? He’s huge! Mitch pulled over and we just couldn’t figure out what it was. Not until I got back into Harvy and zoomed into the photo did we realize what it was…. a vulture!
What do you know, right on the side of the road hidden under an unassuming building was our last waterfall.
(the easiest way to get to Torrelle falls is to map yourself to The Falls Inn because it is in the same place)
The Falls Inn with a hidden gem of a roaring small waterfall below
We visited the owner of Cedar House Soaps, got a little something and learned that we could get a better view of the water from the side. On our way up the walk look who was welcoming us.
Mitch had been looking at the waterfall when all the sudden, he saw a fish jump.
I couldn’t believe it at first, but he said just watch.. and boing… out popped a fish!
Of course we had to get this on video
When you play the video the first fish is hard to see, look next to the rock near the middle left
In this video Mitch captures one of the fish in slow motion!
They say that the fish jump out of the water about every two minutes or so. Mitch said, “if at first you don’t succeed, try in another two minutes.” Funny husband!
HWY 57 near Priest River, Idaho Torrelle Falls in located under the Falls Inn Tavern
And so we made our waterfall count 8 in three days and almost 500 miles traveled, wahoo! As we headed home I was thinking about how we finally found our stride with Harvy the RV, and am looking forward to making more memories with him in the future! I hope this post helps if you are planning to do as we did, or if not, at least maybe we took you on a little journey into the wonderness of nature. God Bless.
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