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Meadow Creek, a significant tributary of the Selway River, should probably be called Meadow River instead. The entire watershed is laced with important cultural, historical and biological values. The southern route of the Nez Perce Trail passes through the upper headwaters of Meadow Creek. The drainage harbors one of the most diverse assemblages of native salmon, trout and steelhead found anywhere in the region. Conservationists have worked tirelessly for years to protect Meadow Creek as a designated wilderness area.
There are many miles of trails in Meadow Creek, but for hikers, backpackers and anglers, the main trail that begins near the mouth of the creek is the most popular. Meadow Creek National Recreation Trail 726 begins at Slims Campground. The trail parallels the stream for the first 3 miles, offering the easiest opportunities for fishing.
After crossing Little Creek, the trail climbs the hillside, offering views of the surrounding hills and down into Meadow Creek itself. At 8 miles, the trail descends to Meadow Creek and continues to parallel the stream for another 5.5 miles to the Meadow Creek Guard Station. Used historically for fire patrols, the guard station is now available for rent from the U.S. Forest Service.
From Highway 12 at Lowell, Idaho, turn southeast across the Lochsa River onto Selway River Road. Drive 18.5 miles just past Selway Falls. Turn right (south) toward Slims Campground and drive 1.5 miles to the trailhead.
Location: Selway River
Maps: Nez Perce National Forest; or Google Maps
27 miles round trip
USGS Selway Falls, Anderson Butte and Vermillion Peak