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Waterfall Canyon Trail

MODERATE 20 reviews

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.

Distance: 23.1 miles Elevation Gain: 4,143 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

running

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

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.

7 months ago

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.

backpacking
Friday, August 17, 2018

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!

hiking
Thursday, July 19, 2018

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.

Monday, July 09, 2018

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

hiking
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

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).

hiking
Wednesday, August 02, 2017

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

hiking
Friday, June 16, 2017

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

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

amazing hike

hiking
Saturday, July 09, 2016

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

hiking
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

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.

hiking
28 days ago

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3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

hiking
Saturday, November 12, 2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

hiking
Saturday, August 01, 2015

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