Fishtrap Lake Mountain Bike Tour


Distance: 7 miles

Riding time: 1 - 3 hours

Season: May through mid-October

Maps: Fishtrap Lake-Miller Ranch “map sheet one” available from U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Info: BLM, Spokane District, 536-1200


Access: Take Fishtrap Exit 254 from Interstate 90 and drive south on the paved road about 3 miles. Turn east toward ranch headquarters for BLM’s Fishtrap Lake Management Area public use area. Although old ranch house at headquarters is private residence for caretaker, public parking is allowed.

Attractions: More than 3,000 acres of wetlands and 100 pothole ponds attract variety of wildlife and waterfowl. Sparse ponderosa pine forest borders cliffs on west side of Fishtrap Lake. Forest blends westward into sage and grasslands.

Area also is excellent place to hike. Route passes through brushy draws and cattails mixed with birch and aspen groves. Everything from burrowing owls to golden eagles, bats to badgers, and coyotes to elk can show up on property.

Fishtrap Lake routinely ranks among Eastern Washington’s best trout fishing waters.

Comments: Map shows main 5-mile loop beginning at headquarters plus two scenic side trips. Routes primarily follow old ranch roads. However, to make loop, route follows portion of old highway (abandoned in 1960s) for a mile south of ranch headquarters.

No vehicles, including mountain bikes, allowed off established roads or trails. Avoid riding in area during wet periods to prevent putting ruts in trails.

Farmers landing is popular lakeside area for picnicking and camping. Camping, however, allowed only by permit through BLM’s District office in Spokane. Cooking must be done on camp stoves or barbecues. Campfires prohibited. Do not stray off public lands without permission of private landowners.

BLM land open to many uses, including hunting. Primary hunting seasons run mid-October through December.

Map shows portion of 8,000-acre ranch BLM purchased in 1992 for $2.5 million from Charles and Dianne Miller. Charles Miller’s ancestors homesteaded in 1871.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN - Routes: Classic Trips in the Inland Northwest

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