6 Great Day Hikes Near Spokane WA
We live in Spokane, WA so naturally we look for great places near us to hike that won’t require we drive far when the mood strikes us. It took us a couple of years to finally get enough time to really explore and we started doing it last year. We are lucky that there are so many places that are easy to get to and trails that are perfect for beginners and families near us. Most of these trails can be done in just a couple hours if you are leisurely. Many are great t bring kids on. Here are 6 Great Day Hikes Near Spokane WA.
6 Great Day Hikes Near Spokane WA
Riverside State Park, Bowl and Pitcher-I like to think of RSP as the hiking park for everyone. It has 14,000 acres (yes!) and over 55 miles of hiking trails. It includes super easy-moderate hiking trails and even an ADA accessible 1 mile trail as well. There is even an equestrian park and trail system! We like to go in the Spring because the river is high and the hiking trails are alive with wild flowers, but it’s beautiful any time of year. Included in this park is also campgrounds and a swinging bridge as well as picnic areas. It does have one drawback, it isn’t free. It is $10 for a day pass or $35 a year for a Discover Pass. You may be able to get in free, though! Check out these tips for getting in state and national parks for free. This park is in the middle of Spokane city.
Mclellan Conservation Area– This is a 410 acre area that was bought by Spokane County in 1995. It has many trails through it that lead to Long Lake. There are some interesting swampy areas here. There isn’t any formal parking as it is just at the end of a road. There also is not picnic areas. The trails are not as well maintained as they are in Riverside State Park, and it has some areas that can be a bit prone to spring run-offs o the trails can end up primitive. I would say this is moderate in level of hiking. The long lake area is beautiful and well worth getting to, though. This is a free hike that requires no pass and is only about 10 minutes from Spokane north.
Indian Painted Rocks/Little Spokane River– If you enjoy mushroom hunting in the Spring, this is a great place to do it as the last time I was there we saw about 6 different kinds! I also love how this area (if you turn right and take that trail at the trail-head) has some debris from an old car and metal that used to be dumped here. Normally I would say this sucks, but its really rather interesting to look at. We also almost always see wild turkeys and deer here. One the left side trail, you will see that a fire went through in the summer of 2015 so it looks interesting as well. Included is also some wetlands and an area that is for viewing rock paintings from Native Americans in the area before it was a park. this park is perfect if you enjoy anthropology and a great teaching park for children as it is an easy hiking trail as well. This park requires a Discover Pass or a $10 per day fee.
McKenzie Conservation Area– McKenzie Conservation area is one of my favorite hikes in the area. It leads to the shores of Newman lake and there is a small picnic area at the end as well as a large rock to climb on top of to get an awesome view of the lake called Turtle Rock.The trails are up and downhill so they can be moderate skill in areas. The McKenzie area has a neat feature of a local brush and tree garden near the shores of Newman Lake and a maintenance shed. This is a free place to hike and requires no pass.This trail system is about 15 minutes outside Spokane.
Indian Canyon Park– Located just up from Spokane Falls Community College, this was one of the first places we explored when we started looking for hikes in the area. This hike descends into a small canyon with a small waterfall that is absolutely beautiful. Its small enough you can get under it most times of the year during the warmer months. In the winter I am told it creates beautiful ice formations on the walls around it. The trail is a bit of a challenge if you can’t do steep inclines, though. This trail is free to access and requires no pass but parking is basically wherever you can find it on the side of the road.
Turnbull National WIldlife Refuge– Turnbull is a national park so you will need a pass to get in or pay for day use. Turnbull offers many trails in it as well as a visitor center with educational displays for children and a store to buy books and other items. There are many trails that are ADA accessible. Turnbull offers amazing wildlife viewing access. We saw moose, ducks, and other waterfowl. Turnbull is located in Cheny, WA, just outside Spokane.