Posted by: columbiahighlands | September 28, 2010

Fall hiking highlight – South Fork Silver Creek

Although the South Fork Silver Creek trail lacks wide-open views well into its seven-mile length, it offers some of the greatest forest diversity of any hike in the region, with riparian creekside habitat giving way to aspen groves, giant ponderosa pines, western larch, lodepole and, finally, sagebrush meadows near the trail’s terminus at Gunsight Pass.

Sagebrush. Photo credit: Derrick Knowles

Beginning at Silver Creek trailhead, the route follows along the namesake creek, which provides a welcome respite in the summer; the moist environment also means plenty of thimbleberries within arm’s reach of the trail. Late summer also brings dedicated hikers huckleberries a few miles up the trail.

But come autumn, the South Fork Silver Creek trail truly shines, as massive western larch and one of the most expansive aspen groves in the Columbia Highlands light up the forest.

Frosty nighttime temperatures have triggered the turning of the leaves at higher elevations, but plenty of time remains to explore the spectacular fall foliage on the South Fork Silver Creek trail.

Driving directions: From Colville, drive east on Third Avenue (Highway 20). After just over a mile, turn left on Aladdin Road and drive approximately 23 miles to Deep Lake – Boundary Road (County Road 9445). Stay on that road for 7 miles to Silver Creek. Stay on that road 3.2 miles to road’s end and Silver Creek trailhead.



  1. I’m fairly certain that the picture was taken from the equally beautiful North Fork Silver Creek Trail. Both trails have aspen groves that should be turning colors right now, but the North Fork probably has the larger grove. It’s 5.9 to trail-end from the trail head, and 7.7 miles each way if one goes all the way to Abercrombie.

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