Chasing Waterfalls in Northern Idaho

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.

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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.

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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.

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Harvy in site #8 at Devils Elbow Campground

The ground was level, thick with beautiful trees and the air was still filled with smoke from all the fires in Canada.

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View from campsite

We woke up early to go chasing waterfalls!

Click here for directions to Fern and Shadow Falls

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Fern Falls and Shadow falls sign on Forest Highway 9

Once we turned of hwy 9 it was a dirt road that headed up the mountain.

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Driving up to Fern and Shadow Falls

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.

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We’re going the right way, we finally see the second sign

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 🙂

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In other words… pray that no one is coming in the opposite direction.

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Heading towards Fern and Shadow Falls

then the road got a little tighter

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This area was the most narrow and bumpy. Concrete strips with greenery growing between them.

Finally arriving to the parking spot we were thankful to be the only ones there.

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Harvy taking a well deserved rest

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.

FERN FALLS

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Fern Falls

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The bridge that goes over the water near Fern Falls

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another viewpoint of Fern Falls, Mitch let me use his shoulder as a tripod…guess we still wiggled, oh well it’s the memories of the moment that matter most!

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Fern Falls and a little stream

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.

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The trail up towards Shadow Falls

Back on track we keep going farther into the woods.

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A little resting spot for Papa’s cup I was drinking out of… that leaked all over Mitch.  hehe ,Papa you’re such a prankster. 

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Mitch hauling all my camera gear waiting for slow pokey me

SHADOW FALLS

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The view heading towards Shadow Falls

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.

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Shadow Falls

It’s as if God opened the gates of Heaven and shined down on Earth, right in this very spot.

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A different view of Shadow Falls

ahhhhh, just breath in the beauty

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Water droplets on the moss next to the waterfall

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up close image of the moss on the rocks dripping with water

I was wrapped up in playing with my camera
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Mitch got some great pics with his iPhone while I pretended to know what I was doing with my camera

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Mitch worked on his walking stick, patiently waited for me

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.

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Without cell service we did what people used to do…we stopped in at the local convenient store and asked for directions.

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G&G Riverstop on NF-9  near Prichard Creek Rd

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!

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Courtney (holding my strawberry ice cream cone while I took the pic) and her dad David at G&G Riverstop. Thanks to you both!

On the road again….

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heading towards Thompson falls on MT HWY 200

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Smoke fills the mountain sky from all the fires, but still beautiful

We stopped into Thompson Falls (ironically I couldn’t find a waterfall to visit while we were here)

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view of the Clark Fork River from the town of Thompson Falls

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.

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Sam Owen Campground

Click here for more information about Sam Owen Campground and to make reservations

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we stayed at Skipping Stone Loop site #32

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the back view of Harvy at Sam Owen Campground site #32

Mitch backed Harvy in the site and we walked about 150 feet and tada, we were at the Pend Oreille Lake shore

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view from Harvy to Pend Oreille Lake

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Monday Morning August 27, 2018

It rained all night, clearing out the smoke and reviving all the wonderous smells of the forest

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there is a trail between the shore and the campsite for walking

Grouse Creek Falls

Click here for the best directions on how to get to Grouse Creek Falls

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The road on the right takes you to the small camping area and the trail to Grouse Creek Falls

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There’s a small area to park if you don’t want to go down the tight lane to the hiking trail

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This photo shows the beginning of the trail to Grouse Creek Falls and a campground bathroom on the left

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This trail gets a little rough in spots

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endless foliage

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Once you are right above the falls it gets super steep. thank you big tree roots for making it doable

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My sweetie aka “camera caddy”

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Grouse Creek Falls near Sandpoint Idaho

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Grouse Creek Falls

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Grouse Creek Falls

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Grouse Creek Falls

click here for directions to -KOOTENAI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE 

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fawn

blurry picture, but so cute!

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MYRTLE CREEK FALLS

Click here for directions to Myrtle Creek Falls

Easy access to the Myrtle Creek Falls

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Myrtle Creek Falls

Bridge and bench at Myrtle Creek Falls

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well maintained path to 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

click here for directions on how to get to 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.

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Mitch let me name our walking sticks, I’d like to introduce you to Romy and Michele. hehe

We headed out, not knowing what beauty we’d encounter… or the steep climb back

IMG_9361  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

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Upper Snow Creek Falls

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up close photo of upper Snow Creek Falls

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closer photo of 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

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Lower Snow Creek Falls

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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

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Hello Luby

Overnight stay at Luby Bay Campground, site #38

GRANITE FALLS 

For directions to Granite Fall click here

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notice it does NOT mention Granite falls… but turn left anyway, because they are there. We drove further expecting some kind of sign… there isn’t

It’s a short drive down to the parking area where you will see these massive cedar trees and signs.

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A well-defined map, except it forgets to mention LaSota Falls up by the upper cedar grove

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Granite Falls…it’s not a crooked picture, it’s just the way the water falls.

There is a trail that goes further back after visiting the overlook, it will take you to LaSota Falls.

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Granite Falls from the upper view

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.

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talk about blending in with the environment! This fella was hard to see and he even has his own “hopping” stick

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

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Setting up to get some pictures, trying not to fall off the logs

enjoying the splendor of the falls

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Mesmerized by LaSota Falls

then Mitch took his own fall, right into the water

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nothing like dipping your toes in the water… with your shoes on.

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Good thing you water proofed your boots!

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well oops, that happened

LaSota Falls

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LaSota Falls

I got wrapped up taking some pictures of the miniature falls above LaSota Falls

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Mini LaSota Falls above the big 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

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resting on rocks in the middle of the stream at Granite Falls

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Flowers and tiny falls below Granite Falls

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I won’t take this experience for granted here at Granite falls, what a wonderful time it was

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!

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Turkey Vulture Near Priest River Idaho

What do you know, right on the side of the road hidden under an unassuming building was our last waterfall.

TORRELLE FALLS 

click here for directions to Torrelle falls

(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

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behind the brown wooden fence flows the water

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cute little soap shop nestled behind the tavern and there is a path that will take you to the side of the water as well on the right

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.

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Frog near Torrelle Falls

Mitch had been looking at the waterfall when all the sudden, he saw a fish jump.

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Torrelle Falls

I couldn’t believe it at first, but he said just watch.. and boing… out popped a fish!

jumping fish at Torrelle Falls

Jumping Fish at Torrelle Falls

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.

Copyrights srz-2018 All rights reserved

13 thoughts on “Chasing Waterfalls in Northern Idaho

  1. Awesome pictures! Harvy looks very sharp, just the right size. I think I missed the article on getting Harvy, but once campers pretty much always! Thanks for labeling the jumping fish at Torelle Falls, I may have missed him! Kathy says Hi and thanks for the beautiful pics! Al Z

  2. Hi, Girl, I finally found the way to keep gettin’ Road Tripping! So excited to see what you are up to and enjoying your gorgeous pictures. Tell Mitch “he done good getting you the camera and accoutrements”. You really got the gift, Shawna😃😃 .All good down here in AZ . Almost making through the boxes.🤗 Are you sure we gave you some things? Hee, hee.😉 Got a plot at “Dig It Community Garden “. Not feeling as lonely for the children left behind. Besides I’m sure that their adpotive parents are the greatest😃😃😉 Also have started gentle Yoga classes 2 x wk. Hard but worth it. No wt loss, but feel I ‘m getting stronger 🤗 BTW…Mike graduated AZ DOC Cadet school. Had the highest academic score! 96 overall average. ( Reward was quarnteed DAY SHIFT!) He also kept up physical training, better than most 20-30 yr kids. Not too bad for “the old guy” as they called him. On OJT now & will start his reg. shift x 2 wks. Miss you folks more than you’ll know😣. Take care& remember your hotel reservations are made when the first snowfall hits. 💕💖💕💖

    On Sun, Sep 2, 2018, 4:11 PM Goin’ Road Trippin’ wrote:

    > happy travelers posted: “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” >

    • Hello Miss Karen, what wonderful news that all is! You’re plants are happy and thriving up here in Washington, but I’ll tell them you miss em 😊 and don’t forget to remember how much we love and miss you guys 💕

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