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Waterfall Canyon Trail is a 23.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Swan Valley, Idaho that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 23.1 mi Elevation gain 4,143 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Hiking Running Lake River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Snow
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Reviews (23)
Photos (424)
Recordings (13)
Completed (79)
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Sasha Sasha
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HikingGreat!No shade
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Anonymous Hiker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

This trail had a cool lake at the end but other than that the view remained the same throughout the hike. The hike to the lake can definitely be a day trip. All trails made me think I would have to backpack in but it’s definitely do able in a day.

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michael dean
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Hiking

Great trail! Much more traffic than expected, passed people every 1/4 mile or so. Beautiful scenery this time of year the river is flowing very fast right now. Trail is in good condition, at some points River overflowed onto the trail. Started tail at 1:30 and was speed hiking / jogging, took us about 6 hours. PLAN AHEAD BEFORE HIKING!!

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Bobbie Stucki
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2019
HikingRocky

Fun day hike. Took 9 hours and went 24 miles to the only waterfall with water (mid July). Beautiful wildflowers and butterfly’s. Didn’t see any other wildlife but there were several Boy Scout troops all over.

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Keith Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 21, 2019

I hiked this canyon as part of a through hike starting at Little Elk Creek and ending at the Palisades Creek Trailhead, which required leaving a vehicle at both ends. Doing it that way required a short but strenuous hike to get to the top of Waterfall Canyon, but rewarded us with about 12 miles of easy downhill through the canyon, past Upper and Lower Palisades Lakes, and down Palisades Creek. We did it in August 2011, and I think we missed out on some of the waterfalls which had dried up by then.

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Josh Bristol
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Backpacking

Finally got to explore waterfall canyon this past weekend on a 3-day/2-night backpacking trip with the Scout troop. It's worth every step of the trail to get there. The trail is filled with forest canopy, rolling meadow, snow line, and then at somewhere around 7,800 feet... Beautiful waterfalls on either side of the canyon and a reported third (my treat for next year's trip) just a little further down the trail. I could have spent a lot more time enjoying the canyon!

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David Hosmer
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Hiking

This is a great hike with beautiful scenery and plenty of covverage to keep you out of the sun for most of the trail. There are plenty of spots to camp between Lower and Upper Palisades with a few between Upper Palisades Lake and Waterfall Canyon.

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Jody Woodhouse
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Great hike!... fire wood is scarce for overnight trips.

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Kevin Kelley
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Hiking

If you're heading to the upper Palisades lake, it's 100% worth the extra effort to head up Waterfall Canyon. I would recommend planning your hike for late June or early July. There is a spring fed waterfall that runs year round, but if you can catch the end of the spring runoff, a second spectacular cascading waterfall will be tumbling down the opposite wall of the canyon. As with all areas in the Snake River range, watch for black bears. They tend to be shy and avoid people, but if you're lucky you'll spot one grazing for berries on the hill sides. If an out and back hike is not your thing, you can follow the trail up through the top of the basin and catch the Waterfall Crest trail and Lake canyon trail back down to the lower Palisades lake (although note that these parts of the trail are a little more strenuous, and the trail down Lake canyon is pretty easy to lose).

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Randall Kempton
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Hiking

Loved this trail, close encounters with wildlife in the morning at Upper Palisades. Found huckleberries in the upper stretches in the fall.

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Benji Garcia
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Hiking

Beautiful surrounding, great wildlife. I can't wait to camp up there

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Wesley Thomas
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amazing hike

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Ford Erickson
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Hiking

it was a great hike thru both Palisades lakes but the waterfall is muchfarther than the map on here shows. When I did it it was at 21-22 mile round trip day hike, and fairly taxing gradual incline between upper Palisades lake and the waterfall. Killer waterfall though. I'd love to do it again. Here's a video I made of the hike: https://youtu.be/N0u1-I_Sv7g

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Josh Skinner
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Hiking
First to Review

This is a great overnight hike or a day bike & hike combo. On the way to Waterfall Canyon you will pass the Lower and Upper Palisades lakes and a lot of great Idaho scenery. Late last summer there was a lot of downfall on the trail from the Upper Palisades Lake to Waterfall Canyon so biking was a no go beyond the Upper Lake. The hikers and bikers on this trail are all super friendly but the horseback traffic can be quite rude at times. I would give 5 stars for this beautiful trail network except for all the horse poo.

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Shanda Weinreis
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Hiking
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Kathy Lee
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Hiking
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Mariah Steenson
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Hiking
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Mariah Steenson
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Hiking
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Jake Hawes
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Hiking
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Richard Pieper
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Hiking
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austin whaley
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Hiking
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Lynne Morgan
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Cayln Senger
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Hiking
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