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Elk Creek Falls

Eastern Washington

Located just off the pavement, this short and easy hike offers good views of the namesake falls, along with glimpses of Hall Mountain in the distance. Come in spring for the highest water volume, seek shade and mist in summer, and return in fall for the best foliage color. Continue reading

Location

Eastern Washington -- Selkirk Range
Jump to Map & Directions

Length

2.1 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 300 ft.
Highest Point: 2820 ft.

Rating

0.00 out of 5

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  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Fall foliage
  • Waterfalls

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

This short and easy hike offers good views of Elk Creek Falls along with glimpses of Hall Mountain in the distance. Come in spring for the highest water volume, seek shade and mist in summer, and return in fall for the best foliage color.

From the upper parking area at Mill Pond Historic Site, immediately cross Sullivan Lake Road and commence climbing through open forest. Serviceberry shrubs arc over the undergrowth while paper birch and aspen sway above you. Come autumn, the yellow and orange leaves accumulating in drifts on the trail feel reminiscent of eastern hardwood forest.

The trail ducks into a draw lorded over by enormous western red cedar and western hemlock before angling up and out onto a shrubby bench. From here, peer down upon Mill Pond and Sullivan Lake, the latter of which is among the largest natural lakes in the Washington Selkirks and an excellent base for exploring the nearby Salmo-Priest Wilderness.

From this vantage point, gradually descend to the highlight of the hike, Elk Creek Falls, which tumbles down and around massive, mossy boulders and cedar roots. A bridge crossing in front of the falls allows a face-to-falls view. To return, descend along gurgling Elk Creek through hemlock forest. Cross Sullivan Lake Road once more, and turn right at the trail junction for a short jaunt back to the trailhead.

Extend Your Hike: Add on the 0.7 mile Mill Pond Flume interpretative trail, accessible from the same parking lot. The trail showcases several historic structures, including the remains of an old flume that diverted water to a hydroelectric plant: the first to supply power to Metaline Falls.

Hike by WTA Community
Multiple authors contributed to this report

Elk Creek Falls

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.8519, -117.2863 Open in Google Maps

Trailhead

Eastern Washington -- Selkirk Range

Colville National Forest, Sullivan Lake Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

USGS Metaline Falls

Colville National Forest map

Getting There

From Metaline Falls, drive east on State Route 31 for 2 miles. Turn right on Sullivan Lake Road for 4 miles to the Mill Pond Historic Site. There is a vault toilet at the trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Elk Creek Falls

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