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Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Eastern Washington > Spokane Area/Coeur d'Alene
47.4168, -117.5311 Map & Directions
Length
5.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
0 feet
Highest Point
2300 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy/Moderate
Frozen Middle Pine Lake at Turnbull. Photo by geezerhiker. Full-size image
  • 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. Continue reading

Rating
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Hiking Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

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.

Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead
  • Accessible toilet

More information about toilets

Wheelchair Accessibility

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

Hike Description Written by
Lunnel Haught, WTA Community

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Map & Directions

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

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Refuge Entrance Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

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.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Eastern Washington > Spokane Area/Coeur d'Alene

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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

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Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

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