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Jill Sanford | 04.13.2017

Hikers in the Spokane area should expect to hike among cottonwoods, ponderosa pines, Douglas firs and cedars. With it’s close proximity to the Idaho panhandle, Spokane’s surrounding climate is forested and temperate.

The area is known for it’s majestic mountain views, riverside trails, swimming holes, and striking rock formations that can be found just minutes from Spokane. Most trails here are located in parks or  nature preserves, and water in the forms of lakes or rivers is a common feature and much appreciated for a quick dip on warm summer days.

The views at the top of these hikes allow you to take in the extensive forested peaks, and the area is very green and lush compared to other parts of Eastern Washington. Overall, it’s a beautiful area that lends itself to a variety of outdoor pursuits. The best way to see it up close and personal, however, is to hop on one of these trails and get moving.

  • Cougar Bay Nature Preserve, Idaho: A short 2.7 miles, this hike offers up close and personal views of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
  • Mineral Ridge National Recreation, Idaho: A moderate 2.5-mile loop, the Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail is a forested hike that rewards you with views of the lake and surrounding peaks.
  • Micah Peak, Idaho: One of the more challenging hikes in this area, Micah Peak and Shasta Butte is a 12.6-mile hike that offers up an unparalleled vista of the surrounding forest once you reach the top. You’ll be able to see for miles and take in the surrounding beauty of the Idaho panhandle.
  • Iller Creek Conservation Area Trail, Washington: This 4.8-mile loop trail offers up some stunning views of Spokane and Spokane Valley. It’s popular among trail runners and dog walkers and located on about 900 acres of conservation area.
  • Glenrose Cliff Trail, Washington: This 6.1-mile out and back trail features beautiful wildflowers. It’s common to see both horses and dogs on this trail, as well. It’s a relatively mellow hike that begins over rolling hills and ends at the rock crag on Browns Mountain.
  • Riverside State Park Loop, Washington: Cross the river on a beautiful wooden pedestrian bridge and get a feel for the Riverside State Park on this 3.7-mile easy hike.
  • Rocks of Sharon Trail, Washington: The moderate 6.8-mile trail is located in the Dishman Hills Natural Area. The Rocks of Sharon themselves are a draw for rock climbers, and the views at the top are your reward for the hike.
  • Liberty Lake, Washington: This 7.5-mile trek features cottonwoods, ponderosa pines, Douglas firs and cedars. With it’s 2,800-foot elevation gain, it can be a little strenuous, but it’s a rewarding climb.


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