Willow Creek Trail to Skein Lake is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cascade, ID that features a great forest setting. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, fishing, and off road driving.
off road driving
The road is now posted as private property.
I gave it three stars because of the unexpected adventure that we had getting to Skein and Raft Lakes.
As mentioned before, the FS 438 road is closed about 2 to 2 1/2 miles from the actual trail head. I had 4WD, but was with three other cars that did not and they were unable to get up to the point where the road was actually closed. There was a truck all the way up at the actual trail head and they said they made it there with 4WD. A group of about 15 of us decided to hike the road and then the trail.
The road was a constant climb, not hard but an extra 2+ miles makes it more than an "Easy" hike. We were passed by some ATVs that had no difficulty getting up the road.
The actual trail was a climb, but was not too hard. The lakes are nice at the end and it looked like there could be some good fishing at either lake although I was unable to fish. Skein Lake is the first lake to the left after you pass an old destroyed cabin. If you branch off and head out for another 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile you will get to Raft Lake which had lily pads, frogs, and fish jumping.
Overall, not all of our group made it all the way to the lakes, but the majority made it and loved the adventure! When most expected a 2 3/4 mile hike, it turned into an 8-9 mile hike.
The FS 438 road is closed due to a landslide about half way up the trail head. It looks like an ATV can get around the slide.
Overall great day hike and great destination. However, the "road" (forest road 438) is actually more like an atv trail. Very bumpy and pretty narrow in spots. Do recommend 4wd and high clearance, but a sedan did make it up so it is possible. That being said, the overall experience was a 9/10. The hike itself in incredible. Suitable for most anyone, the lakes are both awesome. I found it to be about a mile to skein lake and an extra 3/4 mile to raft lake with about 900 ft elevation gain to raft lake. Would highly recommend for anyone.