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Independence Creek Tour

 5.0 (1)
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Map Key

21.2 Miles 34.1 Kilometers



3,032' 924 m


-3,007' -916 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (15°)

5,080' 1,548 m


2,949' 899 m


Shared By Chris Wandervans



Getting forecast...

A classic backcountry creek ride in North Idaho.

Chris Wandervans

Dogs Unknown

Features eMTB allowed

Snow and trees limits the season to June through October.


A great backcountry ride along a river with a nice diversion up onto the ridge to take in some views. Lots of options in the area. This is just one of many combinations so feel free to explore to vary the route depending on ability.

Need to Know

Make sure you are prepared for wet feet.


A trail through the gorgeous North Idaho scenery. The trail follows and crisscrosses Independence Creek then takes a side trip up to a peak to take in the views of the forest. A great adventure ride for mountain bikers.

Along Independence Creek there are about 14 stream crossings. This is a classic creek ride with a gentle grade along the creek, but don't let this fool you into thinking it is an easy ride. There are many little ups along the way that don't really show on the profile. You'll climb up the creek from the starting point until you get to the East Declaration Trail #416. This trail takes you up to Faset Peak. East Declaration Trail #416 features a very steady climb to the peak and can be steep in sections requiring some hike-a-bike. From the peak you'll descend down Ermine Ridge Trail #413. The Ridge is a steep descent that keeps you on your toes with only a couple breaks along the way. Since this is a ridge trail, be aware of some of the steep sidehills on the descent.

This ride is a lollipop loop, but it can be transformed into an out and back for more miles. Trees will first be cleared off of Independence Creek, so if there is considerable downfall on the other two trails, it would be advisable to turn around.

Make sure you are prepared for wet feet.

History & Background

The Independence Creek drainage on Coeur d'Alene River Ranger District is an area which has retained its pristine character despite the effects of some major forest fires since the turn of the century. Although most of the area was burned in the famous 1910 fire, there are still few visible signs of man's influence on the land.

The area was first roaded sometime before World War 1 when a wagon road was constructed to link Pend Oreille Lake and the Lakeview mines with Independence and Tepee Creek valleys. Now the route of recreation trail 22, the old wagon road was the first developed access into what is known as "the Magee country." This road served logging camps, homesteaders, and the Forest Service until the early 1930s when the present road system began to take shape.

While the old Independence wagon road was in use, several facilities were developed along its route. These included a halfway camp with a cabin and corrals, a Forest Service smokechaser cabin, and a splash dam.


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