PUBLIC LANDS – This is prime time to visit the BLM’s Escure Ranch area south of Sprague. The scabland area is green, Rock Creek is flowing nicely over Towell Falls, wildflowers are blooming and the cheatgrass hasn’t turned brown and full of spears.
Read on for details from my weekend reconnaissance.
The 13,000 acres of grassland, basalt cliffs, and glacial potholes is virtually undeveloped. But a road leading from the ranch house trailhead (privy available) makes a nice 3.2 route downstream along Rock Creek to Towell Falls.
This dirt road is open for high-clearance vehicle traffic from mid April (whenever the road dries out) to early June (when officials determine fire danger has become high).
That means the road likely will be open to vehicles when Rock Creek opens to fishing on June 4.
However, if you don’t have physical limitations, considering hiking or mountain biking the 6.4-mile round trip to the falls. It’s a great trip and gives you more chance to hear the singing coyotes (we heard them at noon on Sunday!)
Directions: From I-90 at Sprague, go about 12 miles south on State Highway 23 and at a sharp left turn in the paved highway, turn right onto graveled Davis Road. Continue about 6.5 miles south staying on Davis Road past the Revere habitat management area. Turn left onto Jordan-Knott Road, cross the bridge over Rock Creek and continue a little more than 3 miles to the Escure Ranch access road well marked on the right.
Drive in to the Ranch House trailhead area and check kiosks for maps and rule updates.
Info: BLM Spokane District Office, (509) 536-1200.