The first thing people associate Idaho with is potatoes. That’s cool. I grew up eating a lot of potatoes grown out of my grandpa’s garden along with many other yummy things. People may also connect Idaho to snow and mountains but not much else.
It may be a surprise for people to know that Idaho has many beautiful waterways, and north Idaho in particular has some of the most spectacular and easily-accessible waterfalls you will ever see, although unless you’ve heard of these places or know someone who has it isn’t likely you will know where to look.
There are in fact many beautiful waterfalls across the state of Idaho, but for my summer 2015 travels I decided to branch out near my hometown of Sandpoint and find what I could in or near the Idaho Panhandle. Sometimes I would find random lists of waterfalls online which were only about 50 percent reliable. Other times I would ask my dad who would point them out on old Forest Service maps in his office. And sometimes I would even just hit the road with little idea of what I wanted to see for the day other than something new.
Shadow Falls, Idaho
Shadow Falls is actually the second of two waterfalls in a short series, the first being Fern Falls which is amazing in its own right, just smaller. These two waterfalls are deep in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest in north Idaho. It’s only about 70 miles from the nearest city of Coeur d’Alene but will take you about two hours to drive there as you have to navigate a windy river road, steep single-lane dirt roads over the mountains and several creek crossings that may become impassable during heavy rains.
But the trip is worth it. Once the road ends in a small gravel parking lot the two waterfalls are just down a small trail that is an easy five-minute hike. First you will find Fern Falls while crossing a wooden bridge.