Cancel Search
  • Search by

    Big Elk Creek

    Swan Valley, Idaho

    Big Elk Creek

    Big Elk Creek Professional Guide

    Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

    "This is a big pristine canyon closed to motorized vehicles and livestock. Many avalanche chutes and rugged mountains surround the lushly forested creek area."

    Share photos of Big Elk Creek Trail

    Big Elk Creek Trail Trip Reports

    Start your trip report for Big Elk Creek Trail
    Attach photos from your trip.
    Please Select a star rating.
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    icon1 Total
    Bannock, ID
    Explorer | 51 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    A mellow trail next to a not so docile river. first 4 miles of trail is almost double wide and groomed. narrows with distance. bridges are excellent up to the junction heading to the upper lake. Waterfall canyon is spectacular in early July with one on each side if the canyon. I think I conted 6 big slide paths ( all slid same winter ) between upper lake and falls. debris was everywhere.
    Camping is excellent but expect to see others on weekends and holidays. horses and boyscouts seem to be drawn here like flies but their impact is monitered and cleaned well. forget camping at the lower lake, try chicken spring or better yet the upper lake. a good 2-3 day trip for an early season trip (June 1-15) everything else is till snowed under, and few people dare venture out.

    Trail Information

    Swan Valley
    Nearby City
    Trail Guides

    Hiking Idaho

    870 feet
    Elevation Gain
    Trail Type
    Easy to Moderate
    Skill Level
    Day hike
    Best July through September (to the Wyoming line); August for the upper reaches of Big Elk Creek
    5,650 feet
    Trailhead Elevation
    6,520 feet
    Top Elevation
    Palisades Ranger District, (208) 523-1412
    Local Contacts
    Mount Baird and Palisades Peak USGS quadrangles
    Local Maps

    Trail Log