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Upper Priest River Trail

MODERATE 21 reviews
#1 of 8 trails in

Upper Priest River Trail is a 18.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nordman, Idaho that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 18.6 miles Elevation Gain: 2,395 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

mountain biking
blowdown
bugs
2 months ago

End of July I went in after church on Sunday for a get away... man was I impressed with the trail.. great trees, growth, trail, awesome single track for moderate rider. A few down trees you had to lift your bike over. But well worth it. Took about two hours to ride in and about 3 to ride out... Saw bear sign but no bears... did spook two cow elk and a mink... Going again and taking some friends mid august. If anyone would like to join our party, we will be on bikes this weekend August 17th ... leave around 10ish...love to have you...

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail through giant cedars- the waterfall and blue river water was fantastic!! Shaved a few miles off by parking at the end of FS 1035 and went down the mountain instead of traveling through the valley. Many huckleberry plants around but the berries themselves must be traveling around in the bears belly as they were not picked by human hands.. Great day!!

hiking
3 months ago

Do able as a day hike. Good car camping spots along the road on way there. Bring bear spray.

backpacking
3 months ago

A beautiful hike through old growth forest. Lots of cedars and hemlocks. Trail is pretty level and most of the elevation gain is towards the end. I'm not a fast hiker and I got to the falls in 5 hours including a couple breaks., got out in 4.5 after camping overnight. If you're carrying heavy you could drop your gear at the 7 mile campground and make the last mile to the falls with minimum equipment. Trail is extremely well shaded so sunscreen isn't necessary, but BRING BUG SPRAY. Lots of skeeters here. There are sections of the trail getting overgrown with devil's club, so poles or walking sticks are helpful for knocking them out of the way. Lots of downed trees as well, around 10 I believe. All passable but some can be tricky and a few are quite big. There are signs of black bears farther in, such as paw prints and scat on the trail. Be wary and bring protection.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

What a great hike! We hiked to the falls and camped last night. The trail was in good shape.

mountain biking
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Have hiked and mountain biked this trail multiple times. Beauty and condition of old growth forest is the highlight. Falls are nice, but high canopy, lush fern and devils club forest floor are incredible. Spotted a black bear cub, and kept the bear spray ready! Rarely see other parties on the trail.

Monday, August 06, 2018

We completed this trail yesterday and found it very enjoyable. It should be known that when looking at the elevation profile the steep incline / decline in the middle is not necessary to view the falls; it leads to an alternate access point. You could start there and only have a three mile hike to see the falls. However, it wasn't the falls that was the highlight of the trip for me. We left the car at 9:45 am, spent 45 minutes falls for lunch, then we're back at the car by 5:30.

backpacking
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Beautiful lush shady forest. The old growth cedars and hemlocks with gigantic ferns were amazing. The trail had a few down trees on the way there, but all the stream crossings except for 1 had very nice bridge/walkways on them. The trail crew came by the morning we were heading out and did a fantastic job clearing the trail of the down trees we encountered the day before. From the junction of trails #28 and #308 to the falls the trail crew said was pretty rough (which we thought was perfectly fine) but they said they had plans to work on it later this season in September. The waterfall was nice, but the trail itself was the highlight for my family. Enjoyed this hike VERY much! Oh, and THANK YOU to the previous reviewer who told where the campsites were on the trail. It helped so much knowing mile points and where we could stop. 0.6 miles, 1.9 miles, 3.6 miles, 2 spots at 7 miles and 2 spots at the base of the falls. (The mile 7 campsites were much better than the base of the falls in our opinion)

hiking
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Great trail and the ranking is accurate - moderate. The falls are BEAUTIFUL and I jumped in for a great photo op!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Love this hike, this is my first backpacking trip every year for the last 4 years. Very pretty and easy. Usually at least several downed trees to work around, but nothing too bad. Very well used and established trail. Be sure to make plenty of noise while you’re out. I usually run into black bears every year, and have seen a grizzly out here once.

backpacking
Monday, June 18, 2018

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...

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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
1 month ago

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3 months ago

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4 months ago

hiking
Saturday, September 01, 2018

backpacking
Sunday, July 29, 2018

hiking
Saturday, July 28, 2018

hiking
Sunday, May 27, 2018

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