backpacking
3 days ago

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...