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Jackson Creek

Eastern Washington > Selkirk Range
48.8407, -116.9979 Map & Directions
Length
10.0 miles, one-way
Elevation Gain
2600 feet
Highest Point
5600 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
The view from the Jackson Creek Junction. Photo by Holly Weiler. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Ridges/passes
  • Wildlife
  • Mountain views
  • Old growth
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

This meandering trail through old-growth forest follows Jackson Creek, connecting the Shedroof Divide in Washington to Hughes Meadows in Idaho. Continue reading

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Hiking Jackson Creek

This meandering trail through old-growth forest follows Jackson Creek, connecting the Shedroof Divide in Washington to Hughes Meadows in Idaho.

Access to Jackson Creek Trail (#311 on USFS maps) can be found from either the Washington side via Thunder Creek Trail (512) trailhead on Sullivan Creek Road or the Idaho side near Hughes Meadows. This means the trail is ideal for creating loop backpack trips from either state. The Washington portion of the trail is within the Salmo Priest Wilderness. Jackson Creek is also a trail frequently utilized by Pacific Northwest Trail thru- or section hikers.

Although the trail has fallen into some disrepair and is seldom maintained, it can be followed with some minor difficulties. The upper portions of the trail, nearest the Shedroof Divide and Thunder Creek, are frequently plagued by drainage issues and encroaching vegetation.

The lower portions of the trail contain beautiful old-growth forest, with a nice mix of giant conifers.  Watch for birds that frequent old-growth habitat. The area is also prime habitat for big game, and grizzlies are known to roam here. If camping, pay particular attention to food storage requirements in bear country.  Parts of the lower portion of this trail (Idaho side) were impacted by the Hughes Fork fire of 2017. 

Jackson Creek Trail is just shy of 10 miles in total length. Utilizing the connecting trails of Hughes Fork and the Shedroof Divide, a loop backpack of approximately 26 miles is possible from the Idaho side. Starting from the Washington side and utilizing Thunder Creek to Jackson Creek, and returning via Hughes Fork and the Shedroof Cutoff, the loop would be approximately 27 miles total distance. 

WTA worked here in 2021 and 2019!

Hike Description Written by
Holly Weiler, WTA Correspondent

Jackson Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.8407, -116.9979 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Nordman, Idaho, continue on North Nordman Road. This turns into West Side Road, or NF 302. The road crosses back into Washington, passing Stagger Inn Campground at 12.9 miles north of Nordman. The road re-enters Idaho at 4.4 miles past Stagger Inn; continue straight on NF 1013.

Continue 2.2 miles, then turn left on NF 1662. Continue 1.5 miles to an unmarked NF 1399 on the left. When the gate is open, this road leads to trailhead parking for Hughes Fork and Jackson Creek Trails. The gate is closed from late summer through spring to protect grizzly habitat, but there is a small parking area to the side for hikers, adding roughly 1 mile RT to the hike. It's worth the nearby side-trip to continue to the deadend of NF 1662 to see the old Hughes Meadows Cabin.

To access from Washington, see the hiking guide entry for the connecting trail, Thunder Creek Trail.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Eastern Washington > Selkirk Range

Jackson Creek (#311)

Idaho Panhandle National Forest

Guidebooks & Maps

Trails of the Wild Selkirks

Dennis Nicholls and Jim Mellen

Keokee Press

Salmo Priest Wilderness

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Jackson Creek

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