The gateway to the trail system at the Bowl and Pitcher is the Swinging Bridge. Once across the river, the trails branch out in all directions. Stay along the river heading downstream for half a mile or so and you will find yourself at the Devil’s Toenail, a class four rapid certain times of the year! Relax on the bench overlooking it, and watch paddlers negotiate the rapids, bald eagles fishing, or just take in the beautiful rock formations and listen to the water.
The trail along the river will take you to the Seven Mile area, where you can explore the old CCC Camp, climb up the basalt benches to stunning views, or get on the Centennial Trail and keep going to the Deep Creek area. You can cross the Seven Mile Bridge and return on the Aubrey L. White Parkway and explore trails on the west shore of the river to loop back to the Bowl and Pitcher.
Heading upstream from the Bowl and Pitcher along the river takes you through fantastic basalt formations where the Spokan Tribe once stored their roots in the talus at the base of the cliffs taking advantage of natural refrigeration. Explore side trails or stay by the river and find yourself rounding the bend across from the Disc Golf Course, an area often filled with wildlife. This area adjoins the Equestrian Area, so be sure to follow trail etiquette and yield to horseback riders.
The upriver trail will take you all the way to the TJ Meenach bridge where you can cross and return on the other side if you are an intrepid “loop” hiker. Below the SFCC Campus, a side trail along the river runs below the Centennial Trail where you can see ruins from old Fort George Wright.
Solitude awaits the hiker willing to climb a little and travel the upper trails were mixed conifer forests filled with wildlife and surprises await. Explore the old railway beds from the Camp Seven Mile days. Find splendid viewpoints to take pictures and just take it all in.
Hike through stunning hoodoos along the river in the Deep Creek area. Take the upper trails and climb up to the “benches”, where you have a view of the entire area–see all the way to Mica Peak, Mt. Spokane, the South Hill, and West Plains on a clear day!
The Little Spokane area trails are off limits to dogs, and humans are asked to stay on the marked trails in this very sensitive area for flora and fauna. The mountain above you is called “Rattlesnake Ridge” for a good reason, so keep your eyes peeled for timber rattlers sunning themselves on the rocks! Moose, Blue Heron, otters, deer, and colorful songbirds are among the wildlife that calls this spectacular area home. Don’t miss the Painted Rocks at the trail head.