Mount Spokane, the place virtually every nature lover in the region has visited, will become a new wilderness-like experience this summer.
Get your hiking shoes or mountain bike ready.
Starting next Monday, the road into Mount Spokane State Park will be closed to the public for construction. Unless you own a condo inside the park or have a Quartz Mountain lookout reservation, you’ll have to visit the peak by muscle power.
Pack plenty of water. Campground and picnic areas will not be in service.
Snowbanks linger on the east and north sides of the mountain this week and wildflowers are in all stages, from blooming to sprouting, as you gain elevation into the 13,821-acre park.
Two access options into the park are:
“Day-Mount Spokane Road – This option is best for mountain bikers. Use a map to find the road east from Green Bluff. Drive northeast to the gate at the state park boundary and pedal into the park. Turn right at the Mount Kit Carson Loop Road for access to the majority of single-track trails. (Bikes will have to be carried briefly over a spring road washout.)
“Mount Spokane Park Drive – This main road into the park currently is closed just inside the park boundary until Friday and will be closed every day starting July 7. The closure is at the first trailhead (Trail 110) parking area beyond the park headquarters.
Trail 110 heads pleasantly uphill. The Burping Brook picnic site is just 1.8 miles from the junction with the old fire road – well within reach of families.
But power hikers and bikers can easily sweat away an entire day on the network of trails that reach 3,100 feet in elevation to the summit, where the Vista House will offer captivating solitude this year.
By the way, Mount Spokane is not a choice venue for watching Spokane’s July 4 fireworks.
“Every year, people drive up here thinking it’s going to be a great place to watch fireworks,” said Steve Christensen, park manager. “They’re always disappointed. You can hardly see anything. To enjoy fireworks, you have to get closer than 25 miles. Besides, the park closes at dusk.”
Fireworks note: Use of fireworks is prohibited in all national forests as well as state and national parks.