- Directions: From Lewiston, take Highway 12 east to Highway 3 north. At Deary, hang a right. Highways 3 and 8 (coming in from Moscow) share the road to Bovill, where 3 goes north and 8 cuts southeast to Elk Creek. The giant cedar is about 16 miles north of the Falls Trailhead along Forest Service Road 382. (Google route map)
- Notes: You'll pass through the town of Elk River on your way to the Big Cedar. Check out the Elk River Lodge and General Store for some Huckleberry Ice Cream on your way back out, or for a room if you're staying for a while.
This was a fun day hike that brought The Clearwater Trekkers together with the LCV Hikers back in July of 2017. We had quite a crew with us when we left the Community Center in Lewiston and drove up to Elk River. I recall how we spread out along the Elk Creek Falls Loop, sharing the trail with many other hikers getting out that day. With easy paths through historic backcountry to viewpoints of three different waterfalls, it's a popular place.
After making the Loop, we headed over to the Elk Creek Campground for lunch, then made our way up to the Giant Cedar Grove some 16 miles north of Elk River. This is another easy loop through the trees with a fun stop off at...you guessed it, a giant cedar tree! It really is quite remarkable, though.
But the best part for me was meeting up with my former chapel clerk from prison. We used to talk in the office about hiking together once he got out, so it meant a lot to share the trail with him and his fiancé that day. Not too long after that, he asked me to give a toast at their wedding reception. These paths we wander together can take us to truly amazing places.