LONG CANYON TRAIL #16
Long Canyon is the largest unroaded drainage remaining in the Selkirks. For much of its length the trail offers a shaded, cool creek bottom setting among old growth cedar/hemlock. Trail #16 is also par to the longest uninterrupted trail network in the network, affording access to Parker Ridge and numerous high mountains via trails 7&13.
Length: 21 miles
Map: USGS: Smith Falls, Smith Peak, Pyramid Peak
U.S. 95 north to Copeland. Turn west and cross the Kootenai Valley at Copeland to Road 417 (Westside Road). Follow Road 417 north to the trailhead, about 3/4 mile past the Long Canyon Creek bridge. Parking restricted to 6 passenger vehicles sites and and 3 stock truck or trailor sites. (No camping at trailhead.)
Trail/Route: At 2 miles the trail starts to curve into the Canyon Creek Drainage.
3½ miles. The trail descends into Canyon Creek entering an area of mudflats and alluvial deposits of rock and soil. The trail immediately climbs away from the creek at a steady 15-25%.
5 miles. Trail junction with Trail 424 (nonmaintained)
6½ miles. Descend toward the creek through a cathedral forest of pine, cedar and hemlock.
7 miles. Walkways lead to the first crossing of Canyon Creek. A series of walkways lead to the first crossing of Canyon Creek. It is 70 ft. wide, has no bridge and high water typically flows through the end of June. Across Canyon Creek, a short, steep climb leads to a flat segment that traverses an old growth hemlock forest.
The trail crosses small creeks at 8 and 8 1/2 mile before crossing Canyon Creek again at 9. The trail segment between this creek crossing and the third, and final crossing at the 13 mile, traverses some of the wettest ground in the Canyon.
The largest and most popular camping area in the Canyon is at 12 mile, with sites for 6 to 8 backpacking tents.
From the last creek crossing at the 13 mile the trail winds for another mile, passing the remnants of an old cabin, before junctioning with Trail 7. This trail accesses both the Trout Creek trailhead and Parker Ridge.
Backpacking: Long Canyon Creek is the last drainage in the Bonners Ferry District that has not been logged. The trail follows Long Canyon Creek through giant white pine/larch stands, cedar areas and hemlock/spruce areas. There’s extremely little impact by man, excellent fishing and hunting opportunities, good campsites and good tread for hiking, horseback riding, snowshoeing and limited cross-country skiing.