Spokane Hikes

December 16, 2016

Spokane, the Inland Empire, is the hub of culture, sports, and activity in Eastern Washington. To truly experience all four seasons, visit Spokane. The lilac city warms up above 100 degrees in the summer and sinks back down near zero in the winter so both summer and winter sports thrive. While snowboarding and kayaking are seasonal favorites, hiking in Spokane is a year-round event. Below is a list of hikes within 15 miles of downtown Spokane for locals and visitors to enjoy alike.

 

Little Spokane River Natural Area

The Little Spokane River Natural Area is located 11 miles north of downtown. Trails line the Little Spokane River for miles. Trails alongside the river are considerably flat and

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A view of the Little Spokane River near the Indian Painted Rocks. (Photo by Rachel Rogers)

surrounded by interesting wildlife and hills. Visitors often spot moose and deer not far from the trail. For visitors looking for more rigor, the Knothead Loop will be of interest. The loop is eight miles with an elevation gain of 1000 ft. There are several entrances to the Little Spokane River Nature Area, but the most popular entrance is located off Rutter Road. The entrance off Rutter Road is marked by the Indian Painted Rocks which are of interest to visitors at the park. The park is open all year long and enjoyable in all seasons.

 

 

Dishman Hills Conservancy

The Dishman Hills Conservancy is an area dedicated to land conservation. Dishman Hills is located about 7 miles east of downtown in Spokane Valley. The land includes six hiking loops in the main area. Loops include the Pond Loop, Pinecliff Loop, Deep Ravine Loop, Goldback Loop, Nimbus Knob, and Eagle Peak Loop. The loops intersect with one another, weaving throughout the park. Visitors can access the park from Siesta Drive, Sargent Road, and 8th Avenue.

 

Centennial Trail

The Centennial Trail is one of the lengthier trails in Eastern Washington. The paved trail is 40 miles long and tours Spokane from the east side to the west. Construction on the trail began for the Washington’s centennial celebration. The Centennial Trail begins at Riverside State Park, 12 miles northeast of downtown in the Nine Mile area. The beginning of the Centennial

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A view of the 1974 World’s Fair location as scene from Riverfront Park. One of many scenic views on the Centennial Trail. (Photo by Rachel Rogers)

Trail links to Riverside State Park’s multiple hiking trails (to be discussed in-depth later). From Riverside State Park, the Centennial Trail leads into the heart of downtown Spokane. The trail follows the Spokane River to the site of the 1974 World’s Fair. Visitors of the Centennial Trail can explore the bridges, the gondola ride, and all that downtown Spokane offers. While downtown, the Centennial Trail also gives a glimpse of Gonzaga University.

 

 

The trail continues to follow the Spokane River east to Spokane Valley. Much of the trail is along the river, but it departs into some residential areas for a mile or so in Spokane Valley. Upon returning to the river, the trail continues to the Idaho border where it connects to the North Idaho Centennial Trail for another 20 miles. The trail is easy to access as access points are located all along the 40-mile trail.

 

Antoine Peak

Antoine Peak is a conservation area in the northeast region of Spokane. The general access point for the peak is 15 miles from downtown and is located off Upriver Drive. The Antoine Peak summit is 3,373 feet and has a 360-degree view of the surrounding areas. The summit loop is a five-mile loop with an elevation gain of 732 feet. This trail is great for seeing deer and moose. Birdwatchers also flock to Antoine Peak to observe the birds in the conservation area. Antoine Peak is known for its wildflowers in the spring and summer as well as its winter accessibility which makes it a great hike all year round.

 

Bowl and Pitcher

Bowl and Pitcher is a park that makes up a

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The swinging bridge at Bowl and Pitcher Park. (Photo by Rachel Rogers)

fraction of Riverside State Park. The park is only six miles from downtown Spokane and offers rocky views of the Spokane River and many areas to explore. Basalt rocks and trails line the Spokane River at Bowl and Pitcher. The two-mile loop begins at a swinging bridge and continues along the opposite side of the river. Along the trail are climbable boulders that reveal beautiful views. The trail is mostly flat and is great for all ages.

 

 

South Hill Bluff

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View from High Drive looking over the South Hill Bluff. (Photo by Rachel Rogers)

Just three miles from downtown is a network of trails located on the South Hill. Between the South Hill and Latah Creek are 500 acres of trails made by volunteers. From end to end, the trail is three miles, but the network of trails is 23 miles in length. This is a great hike for those who want to stay in the city, while chasing great views of the expansive landscape south of Spokane. South Hill Bluff visitors have spotted cougar tracks,
beaver dams, porcupines, moose, and deer. There are access points along High Drive Street and on Sunset Boulevard.

 

For more information about trails in Washington, visit WTA.org.

 

Contact Rachel Rogers at Rrogers18@my.whitworth.edu

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