Big Creek Trail #44


Description: This single track mainline trail is a very popular National Recreation Trail. The trail starts at the Big Creek CCC Campground and steeply makes its way up and over a 1500+ foot climb before dropping down to the East Fork of Big Creek and on to the East Fork Cabin. After the rather tiring climb to the pass, the trail mellows considerably, side-hilling in and out of dark cedar/hemlock forests beneath which many unique ferns and mosses grow. Immediately upon reaching the river valley floor, the trail crosses Big Creek, requiring a ford that should be attempted with extreme caution during high water (check with the ranger station for water levels/flows). From this point on to the cabin, travelers can relax and enjoy the tranquility of an intensely attractive canyon. Watch for elk, deer, moose, wolf and beaver as you gently wind through grassy meadows and thimbleberry patches, until you arrive at Big Creek Cabin. The cabin, which is open to public recreational use on a first come first served basis, offers stout shelter from foul weather and a relaxing place to spend a day/night while pondering the previous occupants dating back to the 1920’s. From there the trail follows Donaldson Creek gently but steadily up to Cemetery Ridge, where it quickly passes over the end of Road 1907 and descends briskly down Dent Creek to Bronson Meadows. From there the trail follows the Middle Fork of Big Creek up through the spectacular Bronson Meadows to Trails 8 and 16 on the Coeur d’Alene Divide near Kellogg Saddle. A popular motorcycle trail but is also great for stock. Water is available throughout the trail and feed (all they can eat and more) is available at Bronson Meadows. Bronson Meadows has room for many camp sites but there is no off-trail motorized travel allowed.


Approximate travel time from Avery to Trail 44 Big Creek Trailhead at Big Creek CCC Campground is 35 minutes.


From Avery drive downriver on Forest Highway 50 for 12.8 miles to Marble Creek Station.

• Turn right on the North Side County Road 347 and drive 0.2 mile across the St. Joe River to the community of Marble Creek.

• Turn left at Marble Creek onto the old Railroad Right-of-Way and drive downriver 5.1 miles to the community of Herrick.

• Turn right at Herrick and drive 0.1 of a mile to the North Side County Road 347 and turn right and drive upriver 100 yards to Big Creek Road 537.

• Turn left on Big Creek Road 537 and drive 1.7 miles to the Big Creek CCC Campground.



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