Explore lakes, wetlands, and the shrub-steppe landscape on this tour of BLM property about an hour's drive west of Spokane. Both the BLM map of the area and the Day Hiking Eastern Washington guidebook describe a 9.25 mile loop hike that can be done from the day-use/camping/boat launch area at Twin Lakes.
However, this area was heavily impacted by the Whitney Fire that occurred in September 2020, burning over 127,000 acres in the surrounding landscape. The footbridge over the outlet/inlet stream separating Upper and Lower Twin Lakes burned in the fire, making a small ford a necessary first step of the hike. Many of the carsonite posts marking the route were burned in the fire, making overall route finding more difficult with a maze of connecting old farm roads on the property.
Be prepared with paper maps and compass, and come with an adventurous spirit for exploration. The official route that appears on the BLM map relies heavily on old farm roads on the property, but hikers who are confident exploring the open shrub-steppe terrain can make good use of cattle paths and game trails through the open landscape to come up with routes of varying distance. Regardless of where one roams, the terrain is gently rolling with very little elevation gain.
This hike is best for the colder months of the year, and is a great place to view waterfowl and song birds and watch for the earliest spring wildflowers. By late spring both ticks and rattlesnakes emerge, and there is no shade and very little access to water once away from the trailhead. There is a small campground at the trailhead and an outhouse.