Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,285.00 ft (391.67 m)
Trail type
9.00 mi (14.48 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Denny Creek Trail is the perfect day trail. There are two parts to it, and you will find that they are quite different from one another. Start your morning off at the trailhead near Denny Creek Campground and begin with a moderate 1-mile hike in the old-growth forest reach the Slippery Slab. Here you can sunbathe, watch the kids slide down the flat rocks, eat lunch, and make some friends. Keep in mind that this area of the trail gets extremely busy on hot summer days, and you will know why once you get there. When you are ready to go onward you will find some rocks to walk across to continue on trail.  Note: If the water is high, the creek is becomes impassable or very difficult to cross. 

Once you are on the main trail, be prepared for a moderate to difficult route that negotiates narrow paths, rocks, switchbacks, and elevation gain as you reach Melakwa Lake. First you will arrive at the viewpoint for Keekwulee Falls about 2 miles into the main trail. This viewpoint lines up at the mouth of the falls as you appreciate the power of the 85-foot cascade. From here you have a 4-mile hike to your destination. Though the trail is well maintained and easy to follow, wearing shoes with some ankle support will be helpful on these rocky paths. During the summer season you will even find some wildflowers that brighten up the green path.  

Once you hit an elevation of 4,600 feet, you have just a half a mile left on trail until you arrive at Melakwa Lake. There you will find some flat sites to rest or even camp for the night. Besides sitting back and enjoying the views, you can wander around the lake and easily walk over some of the logjams to get closer to the water and explore further.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Family-friendly. Slide rock. Old-growth forest. Waterfalls.


Limited parking. Crowded. Bugs.

Trailhead Elevation

3,340.00 ft (1,018.03 m)


Bird watching
Big vistas


Nearby Lodging + Camping

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington


Go early to avoid afternoon crowds at Denny waterslide. Beautiful lake but indeed very buggy. Check out both lakes! Upper Melakwa was particularly beautiful!!
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