Liberty Creek Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The Liberty Creek Loop is one of the most rewarding hikes covered in this book. It is, however, also one of the most difficult. The route takes you from the marshland at the south end of Liberty Lake through mixed forests that consist of three species of pines as well as grand and Douglas fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, and several deciduous species. You climb more than 1,200 feet to reach Camp Hughes before descending back to lake level."
--Fred Barstad, Best Easy Day Hikes: Spokane / Coeur d'Alene (Falcon Guides).
"From the pay station, follow the route past the day-use restrooms and picnic shelter for 0.5 mile to the restrooms area at the far end of the campground. Look for the main trailhead kiosk and gate (near campsite 21), and head up along Liberty Creek. At 0.8 mile pass a junction with the old trail coming in from the right. A new route was built in 2011 so hikers could avoid the lower portion of the creek, home to busy beavers."
--Rich Landers, Day Hiking Eastern Washington (The Mountaineers Books).
"Liberty Lake County Park is a popular picnicking area, with a swimming beach, cooking shelters, playground, campsites, and volleyball nets. But many people don’t realize the park extends far beyond the facilities through a timbered mountain preserve. This hike meanders up Liberty Creek and along a hillside through the park before gaining nearly 1,200 feet in elevation. It’s a mostly cool, quiet retreat, first through cottonwoods and ponderosa pines, then through Douglas firs and cedars."
--Rich Landers & Spokane Mountaineers, 100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest (The Mountaineers Books).
"About ten miles east of downtown Spokane. This challenging trail will be fun for those who are prepared for it. For those who aren't, this is not where to learn your trail skills. Lots of steep ups and downs, lots of getting on and off your bike, and a rocky, thick forest trail make this a sustained expert loop. There's even a waterfall or tow. Connections to Mica Peak (Idaho) and beyond are the rewards for those who have the gas to get there. The trail has 1.2 miles park road/doubletrack and 7.7 miles steep, narrow, and rocky singletrack with streams, soft spots, and downed trees."
--Martin Potucek, Mountain Biking Spokane & Coeur d'Alene (Falcon Guides).
"Starting along the marshland at the south end of Liberty Lake, this hike takes you through mixed forests, which consist of grand and Douglas fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, and several deciduous species, as well as three species of pines. Then you climb more than 1,200 feet to reach the Camp Hughes Cabin. Past the cabin the route descends, following abandoned roadbeds back to lake level."
--Lisa Wogan , Best Dog Hikes Washington (Falcon Guides).
"Spokane has a lot going for it these days, including a thriving outdoor recreation scene. And while most folks are familiar with the city’s namesake falls that plunge alongside a picturesque downtown waterfront, very few are aware of Liberty Lake Falls. From the trailhead, follow the signed path that joins up with a gravel road and passes through the campground to a gate. Continue hiking past the gate as the trail makes its way beyond the marshland at the south end of Liberty Lake. At the 0.8-mile mark take a moment to read the interpretive displays that disseminate information about the beaver dams easily seen from the trail. After 0.9 mile of total hiking, stay straight at a junction and continue along the path now paralleling a gurgling Liberty Creek. The trail climbs gently for the next 1.4 miles, crossing a set of footbridges before arriving at Cedar Grove."
--Roddy Scheer with Adam Sawyer, Hiking Waterfalls in Washington (Falcon Guides).
"Tucked between the sprawling cities of Spokane and Post Falls is a 3000-acre “pocket wilderness.” Liberty Lake County Park straddles the Washington- Idaho border, providing a green sliver to an ever-suburbanizing corridor. Purchased for $245,000 in 1966, this 1-by-5-mile property is now a priceless gem of the Spokane County Parks Department. A mere 10 miles from downtown Spokane, you and your dog can hike along rushing creeks, through old-growth forest, and to scenic lookouts. Wildlife is abundant and viewing opportunities are good."
--Craig Romano & Alan L. Bauer, Best Hikes with Dogs: Inland Northwest (The Mountaineers Books).
"This gem of a trail is mostly shaded and cool. It follows Liberty Creek, crosses the creek here and there on footbridges, then crosses and follows the waterfall up the hill to the ridge. After the midpoint, enjoy a fast and continuous downhill dash to the valley. The trail in the area approaching and passing the waterfall is rugged and steep. The rest of the trail is well maintained and well marked. Liberty Lake County Park is 1 mile wide and 5 miles long. It has been an active recreation site since the first settlers arrived in 1871. The historical information on the back of the hiking map is quite interesting. It talks about the area going from roadhouse to a respectable summer resort to a ranch. Finally in 1966, it was purchased by Spokane County with matching funds from federal and state agencies to become the Liberty Lake Natural Area."
--Cheri Pompeo Gillis, 50 Trail Runs in Washington (The Mountaineers Books).
nice trail, forgot my guide so it took a bit to find it and I'm pretty sure I didn't take the right trail out (or if I did that sucker's steep and way more technical that I can manage). You'll have to dodge quite a few horse crap mines but there was no one else anywhere around on a Monday at 6pm. Definitely going to try this again, only I'll remember my guide next time.
I randomly chose this hike out of a book and was more than happy. I did the trail clockwise and is what I'd recommend. The trail begins by following a small creek upstream. After making it to a small picnic area (good place to take a rest if needed), you begin heading up switchbacks. I also like my hikes to be a workout with some elevation gain involved.
The waterfall was amazing, especially given this year's melt. I recommend going in late spring to see the water rush. During my hike it started to rain (no worries, just bring rain gear). The last mile was awesome because of the rain. The trail was flooded and hikers needed to use these mini "bridges" constructed out of tree stumps and old 2x4. I would definitely do this trail again.
My Time: 2:40
Got done with work early and decided to do a quick trek on this loop before sundown. Ended up being a bit tougher than I thought it would be but if you aren't speeding through it not to bad. I took the loop clockwise which ended up being the steeper climb up which I prefer. When taking it clockwise the first half of the loop follows a rushing creek with lots of mini rapids to listen to on the way. The back of the loop has a few small waterfalls with lots of downed pines laying across it. Some of the switchbacks near the waterfall got fairly steep but not too bad. The loop back out going clockwise was a steady downhill back to the parking lot.
Total Distance - 8.35 miles
Max Speed - 8.39 mi.hr
Total Time - 2:14:03
Average Speed - 3.74 mi.hr
Moving Time - 1:54:02
Average Moving Speed - 4.39 mi.hr
Elevation Gain - 2,333 ft
Min Elevation - 2,017 ft
Max Elevation - 3,301 ft
Min Grade - 1.4%
Max Grade - 17.4%
I uploaded the GPS file also.
This is a beautiful trail, however not very well marked passed the Cedars (2 miles in from trailhead). The switchbacks go up and its a long walk to the waterfall and up again to the cabin, then it's 3.6 miles down. Well worth going to, but with someone familiar with the trail on the first hike.
We did this hike with our toddler (rode in a backpack for most, but there were several areas where she could easily walk alongside us). This well marked trail had it all, easy paths through trees, switchbacks, bridges, waterfalls, beautiful views, even an outhouse near the cabin near the top of the loop! It took us 4 1/2 to 5 hours to complete. Note: it was a hot day, but near the waterfalls the temps were very cold and we needed jackets.
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