Little Spokane River Hike (West)
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Distance: 4 miles round trip
Difficulty: Mostly easy
Hiking time: 2 hours
Season: Feb. through Nov.
Maps: USGS Topo - Dartford
Info: Riverside State Park, 456-3964
HIKER TRIP NOTES
Access: Main trailhead is on north edge of Spokane at Indian Painted Rocks parking area just north of Little Spokane River bridge on Rutter Parkway. West end trailhead is just north of Little Spokane bridge on Highway 291.
Attractions: Gently rolling trail follows Little Spokane River, one of the most wildlife-rich areas in the Spokane area. Bring binoculars for chances to see the white-tailed deer, waterfowl, coyotes, muskrats, turtles and a variety of songbirds that are regulars here. Trail can be bare of snow during winter thaws. Spring brings many wildflowers, including lupine and balsamroot, to the Ponderosa pine forest. Yellow iris abound along the river in May. Note Indian painted rocks at trailhead.
Comments: East trailhead parking area doubles as a canoe access to river. Lot is likely to be full on summer weekends. Hikers should respect area closure along trail to avoid disturbing great blue herons nesting high in cottonwood rookery. Trail is re-routed uphill to avoid nesting area and give hikers a short and welcome change of perspective to the river. Park rules prohibit dogs, bikes, alcohol, fireworks or firearms. Also, no wading allowed in river’s sandy bottom. Park hours 8 a.m.-dusk.
The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN - Routes: Classic trips in the Inland Northwest