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Riverside State Park - Deep Creek Canyon

For being such a small area, this little corner of Riverside State Park has a great plethora of diverse landscapes. First there is the basalt rock at the mouth of Deep Creek. Further along you'll find a carpeted moss-draped forest, and then a forest that opens up to sparse ponderosa pine. There are even some impressive views thrown in on Pine Bluff, looking out to Nine Mile Reservoir, Mount Spokane and the Spokane River.

From the trail head at Carlson Road, the trail climbs gently through Ponderosa Pine and then turns and descends to the Spokane River. Continue along the Centennial Trail and take the first turn-off away from it. The next section of trail gets a little rough, but continue up to your reward at Pine Bluff, with fine views of the area.

Keep an eye out for wildflowers and other wildlife along the way; this area is crawling with them.
Driving Directions:

Follow WA-291 W/W 9 Mile Rd from Spokane. Turn left onto W Lowell Ave and continue onto N 7 Mile Rd. Turn right onto N State Park Drive and follow signs for Deep Creek.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 2 trip reports for this hike.
Riverside State Park - Deep Creek Canyon — May 25, 2013 — Johnny Phoenix
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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From the Deep Creek Overlook parking it is a short walk down a dirt road to the Overlook. Add to you...
From the Deep Creek Overlook parking it is a short walk down a dirt road to the Overlook. Add to your walk by continuing down the paved path until it meets up with the Centennial Trail. About 1.5 miles left will take you to Nine Mile Dam. About 1.5 miles right will take you to the McLellan Overlook. Or do a circuit hitting all three views for just under 8 miles total.
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Riverside State Park - Deep Creek Canyon — Apr 29, 2012 — Cascadian Kim
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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This trail system will require LOTS of practice! I love the Ponderosa pine and cool rocks of Eastern...
This trail system will require LOTS of practice! I love the Ponderosa pine and cool rocks of Eastern Washington. And as I claim Spokane as "home-sweet-home", I try to take advantage of finding new trails to hike in the area whenever I visit. Today, in the 65 degree temps and sunny skies, I dragged my mom into Riverside State Park to a trail I'd read lots about, but its reviews were vague or muddled at best. I was unable to find a clear map of the trail system, but we decided to give it a try anyway. We were glad we did!

To reach the Deep Creek Canyon trailhead, follow Francis west until it turns north into Nine Mile Road. Take a left on Seven Mile Road, cross the Spokane River and follow the road a short way to a righthand turn BEFORE you cross the small bridge over dry Deep Creek. There is a Park sign signaling this turn... follow it to the circular parking area and gate. It is posted as the Deep Creek Canyon Overlook Trail. A short walk on the gated roadbed leads to Trail 25 which descends left into Deep Creek Canyon, travels along the dry creekbed a short distance, then heads up and out of the canyon to the left. We stopped some trail runners and asked for their advice as we were new to the area. They recommended following Trail 25 to the parking lot and retracing our steps.

We took their advice. Trail 25 was clearly marked at each intersection. The area is stuffed with mosses, flowers, pinetrees, mock-orange and rocks, lichen, birds and deer and green, green grassy hillsides under filtered sunlight. We watched some playful white tail deer halfway into our trek to the top. The overlook up top provided nice views looking east, and we enjoyed our lunch there. We did not make the trip a loop, but retraced most of our steps. One intersection marked Trail 411 is definitely worth investigating! It wraps around a large chunky rock on a rocky trail and into a very cool lava bed. It made for some fun pictures.

I think we wandered for about 5.5 miles. You could certainly walk longer, or lesser, depending on your time. I want to return and explore some of the other trails in the area (and perhaps find a trailguide with marked pathways in this park).

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deep creek.jpg
Photo by Bugsy Sailor.
Eastern Washington -- Spokane Area
Riverside State Park
Roundtrip 5.2 miles
Elevation Gain 700 ft
User info
Discover Pass required

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Red MarkerRiverside State Park - Deep Creek Canyon
47.7538671585 -117.550792694
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