Q’Emlin Riverside Park Dayhike

SUNDAY, AUG. 31, 1997

Check it out

Distance: 3 miles round trip

Difficulty: Moderate

Hiking time: 1-2 hours

Season: March through Nov.

Maps: USGS Post Falls

Info: Post Falls Parks and Recreation Dept. (208) 773-0539

Dayhiking trip notes

Access: From Interstate 90 at Post Falls, take Exit No. 5 and head south on Spokane Street. Cross Spokane River and turn right on Parkway. Drive to end of road and turn right into Q’emiln Riverside Park. Trailhead marked by large wood sign at west side of parking area.

Attractions: Small preserve of native vegetation and rock outcroppings with loop trails through variety of terrain near south channel of Spokane River Park. Destination for swimmers, picnickers, hikers, rock climbers, nature buffs. Although tiny in scale, trails range from dry open plateaus to mini-canyons lush with odor of honeysuckle.

Comments: Q’emiln (pronounced Kih-MEE-lin) was name Coeur d’Alene Indians gave to village near present site of Post Falls. Name means “Throat of the river.” Village was vacated in 1878.

All trails are worth exploring, but recommended route gives grand tour of area plus chance to find solitude away from heavily used areas near trailhead.

Begin hike on recommended route by heading north to overlook of Spokane River’s south channel and flood gates. signs warn that water can be released without notice, making it dangerous to be on river rocks below trail, especially in early spring.

From “Swimming Hole” area, head south into slot canyon popular with rock climbers. At bench in small clearing, head west on trail marked “Fishing Hole.” At sign marking short “DN Loop,” head south and then west on “High Meadow Trail.”

Loop back to “Old Wagon Road Trail.” Head west on wagon road, past climbing rocks. Road-like trail narrows to single track. Spur trails head west toward private land. Continue north to dirt road and turn right for short walk to boulder beach at confluence of the river’s three channels.

Single track trail leads east along channel through forest quiet except for hum of Washington Water Power Co. powerhouse. Upstream from powerhouse, bear right at fork and head uphill. Trail is faint at top, but goes over rocky ridge and plunges down into rarely visited area. Trail skirts large rock cliff, then rejoins wagon road near sign for “C. Miller Trail.”

Follow wagon road back to east-side climbing area. Just before gate on wagon road, take trail that heads over boulders and up through gap in bluff. Railroad ties make helpful stairs near top. Walk short way to parking area.

Park is part of land acquired in 1894 by German immigrant and city founder Frederick Post. Much of land later sold to WWP. Although area is one of Post Falls’ oldest parks, trail system and name weren’t formally dedicated until 1986.

Trails upgraded in 1980s by youth corps groups. Post Falls Parks and Recreation Department seeking volunteers for maintenance.

Riverside park has picnic tables, playground, restrooms and swimming beach. Park rules prohibit fires, motor vehicles, wood or rock gathering, camping and dogs.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Map: Q’emlin Riverside Park Dayhike

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

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