Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

WTA is a nonprofit that needs you

We’re just as excited as you to get the summer hiking season started. We're psyched our website and work for trails help you get outside.

But we're a nonprofit run on donations from regular people. If everyone who visited this website this holiday weekend donated $9/month, it would fully fund our work for the next 2 years. Of course, time spent outdoors is priceless, but every donation large or small helps us support those experiences for everyone.

Please take 2 minutes to chip in $9.

$9 button

Thank you and happy hiking!


link

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Eastern Washington

The Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge protects a portion of the ‘Channeled Scablands’ of ice age flood fame. The refuge has a 5.5 mile auto route through part of it. This makes a comfortable undulating loop for hikers. Continue reading

Location

Eastern Washington -- Spokane Area/Coeur d'Alene
Jump to Map & Directions

Length

5.5 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 0 ft.
Highest Point: 2300 ft.

Rating

3.62 out of 5

(8 votes) Log in to rate
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Wildlife
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Lakes
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Refuge Entrance Pass

The Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge protects a portion of the ‘Channeled Scablands’ of ice age flood fame. The refuge has a 5.5 mile auto route through part of it. This makes a comfortable undulating loop for hikers. (Where else can you walk four or five abreast, with leashed dogs and strollers?). You can also drive or bike the auto route, stopping at the many viewpoints along the way.

Short hikes radiate from the main loop: two are out-and-back; the third is a loop that travels by Pine Lake. 

Pine Lake Loop
Stop at the kiosk at the entrance on South Smith Road to pick up the required vehicle permit, and then proceed to the first parking lot a short distance before the park headquarters. The paved portion of the hiking trail follows the edge of Winslow Pool and encircles Pine Lakes. Take it slow to let the birds adjust to your presence and see how many different species of waterfowl and songbird you can identify.

While there's plenty of activity for those who remain on the trail around the lake, there is also an option to extend the hike via the adjoining Stubblefield Trail. This trail includes views of Cheever Lake and Stubblefield Lake, and also passes through open grasslands and pine groves, where spring wildflowers should be visible in March and erupting by April.

You can bicycle into the refuge from the Fish Lake Trail or from Cheney by heading south on Cheney-Plaza Road.


Depending on the season, you’ll see some assortment of more than 200 types of waterfowl, cavity nester, and raptors cruising over the relatively flat landscape. The mammal list includes elk, deer, moose, badgers, river otters, porcupines, beavers, bobcats, and cougars.

The visitor center and online maps make it easy to see the range of hikes available here, including accessible boardwalks. Visit fws.gov/turnbull.

Between March and October, a $3.00 fee is charged per car. If you are bicycling or walking into the refuge, it is $3.00 per family. No entrance fees are charged from November through February.

Wheelchair Accessibility

The trail at Turnbull is a wide paved route with minimal dropoff on either side of the path.

Hike by WTA Community
Lunnel Haught

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4168, -117.5311 Open in Google Maps

Trailhead

Eastern Washington -- Spokane Area/Coeur d'Alene

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

See weather forecast

Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead
  • Accessible toilet

More information about toilets

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Desert Hikes: Washington (Bauer & Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods (Bruce Bjornstad - Keokee Books)

Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Rosalia

http://bit.ly/2ln3OLv

Getting There

From Spokane, head west on Interstate 90 for about 9.5 miles. Take exit 270 for 904 west toward Four Lakes and Cheney. Continue 6.9 miles on 904, and then turn left onto South Cheney Plaza Road. Follow the road 4.2 miles, and then turn left onto South Smith Road. Continue for about 2.1 miles to the refuge headquarters.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Refuge Entrance Pass
 

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

19 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports