Serpent Creek

View Northwest

Most of the party had nothing to do for the first six or seven hours on the seventeenth but stand around in the cold and wait for all their wandering horses to be found. After they got under way again, at one o'clock in the afternoon, they "passed over Several high ruged Knobs and Several dreans & Springs passing to the right, & passing on the ridge devideing the waters of two Small rivers." One was perhaps Gravey, the other Serpent Creek. The road was "excessively bad," and debilitating injuries to the horses were continual threats.

In this photo, forest access roads contour along the mountainsides above the creek, through old clearcuts identifiable by the medium green, and recent clearcuts identifiable by their gray-brown color. The vertical lines such as those at right of photo-center were made by dragging logs up to a road where they could be loaded on trucks. Many of the trees still covering the higher elevations are less merchantable species, including subalpine fir. Trees have not been harvested in the creek-bottoms in order to protect the riparian (streamside) habitat and preserve water quality.

Separating the nearer mountains from the hazy blue ridges in the distance is the Gravy Creek drainage, which flows northeast toward its confluence with Cayuse Creek, which feeds Kelly Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Clearwater River. (See Map 2, Snowbank Camp to Indian Post Office).


Funded in part by a grant from the Idaho Governor's Lewis and Clark Trail Committee.