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Nine Easy Hikes Near Spokane

Snow may still linger in the higher country, but spring is a great time to get out and hike around Spokane. From shrub steppe to hidden waterfalls. From wildflowers to wildlife, we've got nine easy hikes to get you started. They include some great choices for beginners and families.

Snow may still linger in the higher country, but spring is a great time to get out and hike around Spokane. From shrub steppe to hidden waterfalls. From wildflowers to wildlife, we've got nine easy hikes to get you started, many of which are great choices for beginning hikers and families.

So grab your Ten Essentials, and hit the trail! When you get back, don't forget to write a Trip Report about your hike. It will help other hikers know what to expect: a great hike full of wildflowers, or a trail ankle-deep in mud.

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Big Rock (Spokane area)

Distance: 2.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation: 600 feet gain
Best Season: year round

Big Rock

The Rocks of Sharon call to hikers and climbers alike, large granite rocks rising up from the ridgeline surrounded by a rich ecosystem and prime wildlife habitat. From the rocks you have views south over the Palouse to Steptoe Butte and north over the Spokane Valley and Mount Spokane.

>> Read more about the Big Rock trail in WTA's Hiking Guide and in recent Trip Reports.

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Riverside Park - Deep Creek Canyon (Spokane area)

Distance: 5.2 miles
Elevation: 700 ft gain
Best Season: year round

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.

>> Read more about the Deep Creek Canyon in WTA's Hiking Guide and in recent Trip Reports.

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Hog Lake (Spokane area)

Distance: 3.5 miles
Elevation: 900 ft gain
Best Season: late winter through fall

Hog Lake
Hog Lake in early April. Photo by DebInSV

In late winter and spring, Hog Lake is thriving with songbirds, waterfowl and wildflowers. Hike the 1.3 mile loop above the lake, through stands of ponderosa pine, and then drop down a steep trail to the lake itself. Bring a fishing pole along and spend a quiet afternoon gazing out on the reflective lake.

>> Read more about the Hog Lake in WTA's Hiking Guide and in recent Trip Reports.

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Iller Creek (Spokane area)

Distance: 5 miles
Elevation: 1200 ft gain
Best Season: year round

Iller Creek - Tower Mountain
Near the top of Tower Mountain, looking south toward Steptoe Butte. Photo by dusty_boots

Take a wonderful five mile loop through lush shaded forest, climbing to a ridge with outstanding views of the Palouse to the south and the Selkirks to the north and east. The highlight of the hike is the Rocks of Sharon, one of the best rock climbing destinations in the area. WTA volunteers have also built trail on this Conservation Futures property.

>> Read more about the Iller Creek in WTA's Hiking Guide and in recent Trip Reports.

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Palouse Falls State Park (between Spokane and the Tri-Cities)

Distance: 2 miles
Elevation: 290 ft gain
Best Season: winter and spring

Palouse Falls
The setting sun reflecting off passing stormclouds bathes Palouse Falls in warm reddish light. Thanks to spring runoff, now is a great time to visit the falls.

One of the most magnificent waterfalls in Washington, Palouse Falls tumbles 198 feet into a circular basin. Its situation in a desert landscape carved by jagged cliffs only increases its allure. The Palouse River cuts through narrow canyons that are speckled by wildflowers in the spring and laced with gleaming ice in the winter. You can view the falls from the parking area, but its well worth it to follow the trail to the upper river, darting around towering sage as you go. Keep an eye out for the resident birds, marmots and snakes that make this area their home.

>> Read more about the Palouse Falls State Park in WTA's Hiking Guide and in recent Trip Reports.

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Towell Falls (Southwest of Spokane)

Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
Elevation: 50 feet gain
Best Season: year round

A waterfall in the middle of the desert? It’s true. Great volumes of water tumble from Rock Creek onto the basalt rock that is the foundation of this landscape. With meadows and cliffs and views of the Escure Ranch, this is one of the most stunning desert hikes in the area. Treat yourself to a refreshing foot soak in the creek before heading back.

>> Read more about the Towell Falls trail in WTA's Hiking Guide and in recent Trip Reports

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Little Spokane River (Spokane area)

Distance: 7.3 miles roundtrip
Elevation: 1000 feet gain
Best Season: year round

Kids will love playing by the riverside on this winding river hike close to Spokane. But the best part of this area is the wide variety of wildlife it supports. As you meander through its marshy bogs and forests, point out the deer, bald eagles, ducks, herons and turkeys you see along the way. Giving name to the animals and plants along this trail will entertain your budding naturalists for hours.

>> Read more about the Little Spokane River in WTA's Hiking Guide and in recent Trip Reports.

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Saltese Uplands (Spokane area)

Distance: 3.6 miles roundtrip
Elevation: minimal elevation gain
Best Season: year round

Hike through a unique shrub steppe habitat that is home to a whole host of wildlife. Because this area is so open, it is easy to see the white-tailed deer, badger, coyote, hawks and eagles that dart around the conservation area. Kids will enjoy drinking from the year-round springs and spotting animals and parents will appreciate the views of Liberty Lake and Mount Spokane.

>> Read more about the Saltese Uplands in WTA's Hiking Guide and in recent Trip Reports.

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Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge (south of Cheney)

Distance: 1 mile roundtrip
Elevation: minimal elevation gain
Best Season: year round (though in the spring, ticks can be bad)

This short hike through wetlands, ponderosa pine, shrub steppe and grasslands is perfect for young hikers. Hike along Winslow Pool to Pine Lakes, where kids will enjoy watching the ducks, geese and swan swim around. Hide in one of the blinds, which camoflauge you so you can get a better view of waterfowl up close.

>> Read more about the Turnbill National Wildlife Refuge in WTA's Hiking Guide and in recent Trip Reports.

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