spokane hikes

5 Great Hikes for Taking in Spokane

The scenery in Spokane is something.

You’ve got the Spokane River snaking its way through town, the charming character of the city’s historic downtown and natural, open spaces both inside the city limits and out. And there’s no better way to take in some of the scenery that Spokane has to offer than by hitting the trail.

From an urban stroll along the river in downtown to a rugged hike leading to a picturesque lake view, here are five hikes near Spokane that will give you a glimpse of it all.

5 Great Hikes Near Spokane

Spokane River Centennial Trail

Mileage: Varies

This gem of a hike near Spokane offers a little something for everyone along its nearly 40-mile length, from Ponderosa pines and fossil beds to a stroll through historic downtown Spokane. It’s long, but multiple trailheads make it easy to split it up into manageable sections depending on what you’re hoping to see. The trail is also paved the entire way, which makes it a great option for cyclists, too.

Bowl & Pitcher Loop

Mileage: 2

This popular Spokane hike in Riverside State Park starts with a stroll across a one-of-a-kind suspension bridge and winds along the Spokane River past massive basalt outcroppings and some raging rapids. It’s not all that far from downtown Spokane, but when you’re strolling along the river on a sunny day, you’ll feel like you’re truly out in the wild.

Manito Park-Cannon Hill Loop

Mileage: 2.4

A botanical hideaway in Spokane’s South Hill neighborhood, Manito Park is an ideal place for a scenic stroll right in the city. Its 90 acres are home to five gardens, a greenhouse conservatory and lots of pretty flowers and trees.  Consider walking through the park and then heading by foot five blocks over to Cannon Hill Park, a small neighborhood park with rolling meadows and a peaceful pond. Loop back to Manito and call it a day.

Little Spokane River

Mileage: 6.8 miles

For those looking for a little more distance and a healthy dose of natural aesthetics, the trail along the Little Spokane River is calling. Located in Riverside State Park just outside Spokane, this trail winds along the river, passing under tall pines and through grassy meadows. It tops out at close to 2,500 feet atop a hill that shares lovely views of the surrounding terrain, including the nearby Long Lake and the Spokane River.

Liberty Lake Loop

Mileage: 8

You’ll have to drive about a half-hour out of downtown Spokane for this one, but it’s worth every minute. The trail unfolds pleasantly under towering Ponderosas and some cedars, crossing several small streams on its way to a waterfall. A gain of about 1,200 feet takes to you the top of a rise that offers up incredibly views of the lake itself and the northern horizon.

Jon Bell

Jon Bell writes about the outdoors, fitness, health, and a range of other topics from his home in Lake Oswego, OR. He is also the author of "On Mount Hood: A Biography of Oregon's Perilous Peak."

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