Where to hike in Spokane area (now that you can)

By Lauren Reichenbach, Copy Editor

Phase 1 of Gov. Inslee’s four-phase plan for reopening Washington State started on May 5. With Phase 1 comes the reopening of most outdoor recreation, such as hunting, fishing, boating and hiking.

The surrounding Cheney area has plenty of places to get back outdoors while still maintaining social distancing. With the weather getting nicer, The Easterner rounded up some of the most recommended spots to go hiking in the area.

Kaylin Signor, a senior at EWU, loves finding new places around the Cheney area to get exercise. 

“My favorite (hike) is probably the Cheney Wetlands Trail,” said Signor. “It’s just off the Columbia Plateau Trail and is a fun 3ish mile hike with natural scenery and lots of animals.”

Signor suggests the Rocks of Sharon hike if students are in for more of a challenge, as most of the trail is very steep, but has extremely rewarding views. Some easier hikes —that could be considered more of walks— that Signor enjoys are Bowl and Pitcher in Spokane and the Columbia Plateau Trail in Cheney. 

“(The) trail is super fun to walk or run,” said Signor. “It’s long and flat for miles of outs and backs.”

Dan Finstrom, also an EWU student, is excited that fishing has reopened.

“I’m very inexperienced with spots near Cheney,” said Finstrom, “but I really enjoy both Turnbull and Fish Lake.”

Taylor Newquist

Along with fishing, Finstrom enjoys cycling, and likes being able to cycle to his fishing spots.

“I have tried Amber Lake and Silver Lake as well,” said Finstrom, “but I still prefer Fish Lake because I love to cycle to the lake on the Columbia Plateau Trail.”

Finstrom said a great place to mountain bike is Silver Mountain in Idaho, if one is up for a slight road trip.

Other places to get outdoors during Phase 1 are the Palisades Park right by Spokane Falls Community College. The park is pretty flat and is ideal for long walks, as the park itself is about 700 acres. The Palisades offer many spots to overlook Spokane.

The Indian Painted Rocks hike is also right outside Spokane, located along Indian Trail Road. This hike is approximately seven miles long, and offers views of the winding Spokane River at the summit. This hike is best recommended to be hiked in the evening, as views of the sunset can be seen from the top. 

The Dishman Hills Natural Area is located in Spokane Valley and offers roughly 530 acres of light hiking. The Area also has a park for children and a large field for exercising dogs. 

The Liberty Lake Trail, while located slightly farther away on the outskirts of Liberty Lake, offers many views of waterfalls and passes right by Liberty Lake. A rustic cabin is located at the summit of the hike that hikers can camp in for a night. This is a slightly more advanced hike, with a total distance of 8 miles and an elevation increase of almost 3,000 feet.

While citizens of Washington State anxiously await the rest of Gov. Inslee’s four reopening phases, there are plenty of outdoor places to stay active and entertained until life goes back to normal again.