Take advantage of the diversity of Riverside State Park’s Trail 25 by doing this close-to-town loop that includes both forested canyon and scenic overlooks.
From the parking lot at Deep Creek Canyon, look for the entrance to Trail 25 on the left side, closest to State Park Drive and 7 Mile Road. Run down the short hill, crossing the canyon floor, before beginning the climb.
The route follows the rolling hills toward 7 Mile Road, twice crossing Sand Road and staying generally beneath the powerlines for the first mile.
After the second crossing of Sand Road, the trail enters the forest and continues its gentle ascent. Note the large trees along the route, with one particularly impressive Douglas-fir located near the final switchback. The rocky outcroppings are covered in moss, and one can expect wildflowers here when neighboring park Mount Spokane is still covered in snow.
At the top of the climb, consider pausing to take in the view from one of several park benches. The Spokane River is in the foreground, and on a clear day Mount Spokane is visible on the horizon.
Then begin the descent through a mixed conifer forest. The trail swings out to the park boundary and hugs Carlson Road near the 3.5 mile mark, then begins to cut back toward the parking lot.
The terrain continues to vary, with short ups and downs throughout. There are several marked intersections along the route. Stick to Trail 25 for the main loop, or consider extending the trek by exploring some of the side trails. Trail 400, near the 5 mile mark, is an interpretive trail that would add an extra mile as an out-and-back. Note that the kiosk with interpretive handouts is located at the bottom of the trail near Centennial Trail, and is not always stocked with pamphlets.
At the 5.5 mile mark, Trail 25 rejoins State Park Drive a bit north of the parking lot. Consider extending the route north to the Deep Creek Canyon Overlook, a short side hike that is well-worth the view, bringing the total mileage up to 6. The parking lot is just to the right of where Trail 25 rejoins the road.
Driving Directions: From Spokane take either Francis Avenue or Assembly Street to SR291. Turn left at 7 Mile Road. Continue 2.1 miles to State Park Drive, signed for Deep Creek Canyon. Turn right and continue .4 miles on the rough dirt access road to the parking lot.
Parking Pass/Entry Fee: Discover Pass
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