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For those in Spokane who think you have to drive all the way to the Olympics or the North Cascades for giant trees and ferns fear not! Just 2.5 hrs from Spokane is Upper Priest River trail 308 to American Falls. It is 8 miles in through the US portion of the only snow-fed inland rainforest in the world!

The trail gains a little over 700 feet over its 8 miles, with most of that being in the last mile before the falls. There are established campground sites at 0.6, 1.9, 3.6, 2 at 7.0 miles and a few just at the base of the falls (though these are flooded at the moment due to high snow melt).

The trail has recently been updated with lots of new bridges over creeks and muddy sites (maybe end of last season) and there are bundles of wood all along the trail indicating more updates are to follow. There are well over a dozen downed trees across the trail, telling me FS has not yet been through, but the trees are easy enough to get around.

Overall, the trail is mostly flat with some ups and downs here and there. The scenery changes a fair amount, walking through ferns and next to 10ft trees, even a couple of swamps and about 6 creek/river crossings. There are definitely signs of wildlife (We saw bear, wolf, deer, elk and Caribou tracks).

Stay safe and enjoy! Also, if anyone does this trail and finds a size 8 steel men’s wedding band around mile 3.3/3.4...you know where to find me...

Great hike with nice views from the top. We hiked through a tad of snow near the top, but overall trail conditions were great. The fs road to the trail is also in great condition, my little focus handled it just fine!

Access to the trail can be difficult due to blown down trees but any trees granting access were cleared out. The trail had a few down trees to traverse and melting snow was an obstacle in the upper portions of the hike.

Bugs were a common annoyance. There were a couple ladybug nests on the summit and we spotted a moose on the drive off the trail.

This is the county high point for Ferry Washington and so the views from the top were good all around. I was able to see the Selkirk range to the east.

backpacking
20 days ago

This is a great trail for out and back over night. It has a lot of elevation gain with a amazing vista views. You will be out is the wild with this trail! We saw a cinnamon bear, several snakes, and lots of fresh elk scat! Beware of swarming pine mosquitoes and dog ticks around the water holes. We did have lots of water in spring creeks every several miles. I don't believe they will be running later in the summer. We did climb over 3900 feet in the the first 11 miles before turning around. The best camp ground is located at the Thirteenmile road crossing.

Good news! This Trail is finally open again we just hiked it on Saturday! Not sure how long it will take for them to update their website (Colville NF) but the Hall's Mountain Trail is also open the only Trail remaining but is still closed is at the top of the ridge next to Sullivan Lake.

This trail is currently closed (same as the shoreline trail) because of the 2017 fire. See Colville National Forest Alerts about Fire Closures.

backpacking
1 month ago

emerald lake level was very high no shore camping. no places to put up a tent between trout lake and emerald lake. plenty of water sources this time of year. a fair amount of large blow downs add to the challenge.1.8 miles from trout lake near the top of the switch backs is a bad wash out dangerous especially with a full pack
BE CAREFUL !!!

Absolutely breathtaking views!

hiking
4 months ago

beautiful trail.

hiking
4 months ago

beautiful trail

Why is everybody calling this trail 7.7 miles. Its 5.2 miles to the junction of trail #522 and #507! Since this is where #533 ends, its a 10.4 round trip.

great views and climb to top...snow and windy! Did not go around to Hooknose- next time!

hiking
8 months ago

Nice hike but I'll have to go back do to the weather being pretty socked in I really couldn't take advantage of the views but what I was able to see was great. Pretty good incline but fairly short distance well worth the time.

Views are on - nice clean trail --

hiking
8 months ago

Not a bad little hike. I was hoping for a better view of the lakes from up there, but it was only ok. Lots of deer in the area, had a few close encounters.

Good time killer if you are camping at one of the sites nearby....but don't make a trip just for the hike....too many other great places in the area.

hiking
9 months ago

The road up was a little treacherous for the mid sized sedan rental car that I took (luckily it was a rental). But once we got to the trail, we were not disappointed. Beautiful pine forests cloaked the area in a thick pine scent that cannot be beat. Small waterfalls and cool mountain streams offered relief from the moderate heat encountered in the first couple miles. I was there in mid June and there were still patches of snow on the last mile or so with very large drifts at the peak. The view at the top was unbeatable. It was a little chilly at the top so expect to bring a sweatshirt if you plan on staying for an extended period of time. If I ever find myself in the area again, this is a definite.
Note that the coordinates supplied by AllTrails aren't accurate. Stay left and follow the signs for the trail head.

hiking
9 months ago

This trail is one rail I would never hike again. It had the least amount of scenery of all the hikes I have been on. W came at the end of April and could not drive all the way to the trailhead due to the snow. We parked and continued on the road through the snow top the trailhead. LOTS of running water from the melting snow on the sides of the road. we hiked in, spent the night and left next morning! Was just good to get the fresh air but there are SEVERAL better hikes in my opinion.

Road to Trailhead is ok until last mile, three large ruts and my friends mid size SUV scraped going out. Arrived early Sunday morning of Labor Day weekend to a empty TH., maybe five cars on return several hours later. Great well maintained trail that's recently had some work and weed whacking done. Trail switchbacks up and just enough shade along the trail, except the last mile to provide relief from the heat. Pretty hazy from the smoke but all and all great hike with stellar views.

Great trail, has had a lot of quality work done recently to bridge some of the mud and there are big trees all the way to the falls. This one is enjoyable the whole way not just a destination hike. Not sure if they will remove it but the cover photo for this hike is not the American falls, it's granite falls by Roosevelt grove

hiking
9 months ago

Closed until further notice due to Noisy Creek fire.

Fun hike, great views of the lake....not sure how the fire is going to effect the views and hike...please let us know if your hiking this trail.

trail running
9 months ago

Really fun and rad lil loop. Solid trail, technical, a few springs that you can refill. It's absolutely worth a quick 5 mile hike or run.

trail running
9 months ago

This is a really fun and taxing run. I've done it 3 times, saw some cows once. Lots of critters. Didn't see any snakes but saw plenty of evidence of large animals. Overall this is a great trail with a good range of views and conditions. There's water(a creek) at the trailhead so load up before you start.

hiking
10 months ago

I love everything about this area! The hike is family friendly. The lake is beautiful. The loop is well marked and well worn. ♡♡♡

hiking
10 months ago

Great trip!!

I loved this hike – keep in mind, I’m new to the hiking world this year.. so others may think differently
1st – the gravel road leading to the trail.. if you have a family van, or small car, you might rethink this trail – it’s not a bad road, but some vehicles might have some issues.
2nd – Amazing hike – this trail has a little of everything, deep wooded areas, vast open areas and amazing views everywhere you look. The peak of this trail is loose rock, so smaller kids, or older individuals might have a rough time with it.
3rd – this is a trail I will be hiking every year now – it’s great

Enjoyed it - will do it again

beautiful hike many scenic stops

backpacking
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I went up the Jungle Hill side at the end of May. It is a horse trail. There is one sign that says trailhead up past the logging staging area, but that is not the trailhead. The camping area and the real trailhead is a little farther up the road. There is a decent sized creek crossing less than a quarter mile from the start. This year there has been significant snow melt so the creek was swollen. Taking shoes/socks off and crossing alone with a large pack is not for the faint of heart. Of course if its a hot day maybe you wouldn't mind the splash, but there just is not anything to keep you from falling but your own tenacity and balancing. After that is the real "Jungle Hill". I really enjoyed the constant supply of edible flowers and medicinal herbs along this trail. That is what would bring me back, along with the very interesting variety of ecosystems. I saw woodland flowers I see on Mt. Hood, orchids, nettles, and even succulants, but also saw higher elevation/dry area type plants like bluebells and sagebrush. I saw on several occasions sign of cougar, deer, and elk. No bear sign. I believe I had deer going by my tent both nights I was there.

About the trail - It needs to be maintained. Usually I don't care if a trail has blowdown trees or obstructions all over the place, which this trail does. There IS one section, however, where several trees had fallen over a switchback, causing horseback riders to cut back before the turn and go up to the unobstructed part of the trail. There are actually a lot of spots like that. But one spot in particular, the ground has been churned up so much, if there was a large sustaining rainstorm, it would turn that whole area into a large mudslide and destroy any remaining terrain in its path. I really do hope some trailworkers get up there and at least attend to that one spot.

At the top, the trail wound around both sides of Jungle Hill, showing you two beautiful vistas. I'm pretty sure you can see Montana from the east side view. Where the trail met up with Kettle Creek trail, it was all covered in snow. I had not been up this trail before and did not see any boot/horseshoe prints in the snow either. I had no way of knowing what the rest of the trail was like, if I might lose it in the snow the next day, so I stayed there that night and just went back down Jungle Hill the next day. I also did not see anyone else the whole time I was there, so that was another reason why I didn't risk it.

Funny thing though, at the top there, I had good reception and even 4g on my cellular, which was nice, just in case of any emergency. Go figure. Verizon.

Decent, interesting, fun trail. I would probably do it again and take someone with me!

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