Little Spokane River

Nine Mile Falls, Washington 99026

Little Spokane River

Little Spokane River Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This trail is mostly within the Little Spokane River Natural Area of Riverside State Park. Watch for wild turkeys all along this route. Moose are also possible anywhere along this trail.

Leaving the trailhead, the trail quickly passes through a hiker-only gate. A few yards farther is a signboard, where you bear right. Then you turn left where a short fence blocks the abandoned trail that goes straight ahead. Now the route climbs fairly steeply, making nine switchbacks and climbing a bit over 300 feet of elevation before reaching a trail junction.

This trail is for hikers and cross-country skiers only; no dogs, bikes, or camping."

More Little Spokane River Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Birding Washington (Falcon Guides)
Rob and Natalie McNair-Huff
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"If we lived near Spokane, we would spend a large portion of our free time birding the Little Spokane River. It’s easy to get to and near a large population center, but the trail is calm and quiet. Visitors also can explore the area by canoe, something we strongly suggest if you are so inclined. For those who prefer exploring on terra firma, the 3.6-mile out-and-back (7.2-mile total) interpretive trail that we bird travels a narrow passage between a steep hill, often faced with craggy rocks, and the twisting river below. The trail travels past a variety of habitats, including rocky cliffs, pine forest, wetland, meadow, and riparian. You can start hiking at either end of the trail, but you’ll find more parking available at the east end by the Indian Painted Rocks area. Look in the open field near the Painted Rocks parking lot for Western Bluebirds and sparrows that may be using the bluebird boxes that have been placed there. Habitats: Riparian, mixed forest, cliffs. Specialty birds: Bald Eagle; Northern Pygmy-Owl; Black-chinned, Calliope, and Rufous Hummingbirds; Pileated Woodpecker; Rednaped Sapsucker; Hammond’s and Pacificslope Flycatchers; Cassin’s Vireo; Pygmy Nuthatch; Western Bluebird; Bohemian Waxwing."
Day Hiking Eastern Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Rich Landers
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"From the Indian Painted Rocks trailhead, the kid-friendly version of this hike simply follows the trail along the Little Spokane River as far out and back as the kids want to go. For the longer loop, head the other way, north past the toilets, away from the river. After a short way, the trail bends back to a gate off Rutter Parkway. Turn left here onto the double-track trail. (This is an alternate access point, with limited parking.)"

Little Spokane River Trip Reports

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Was visiting from Michigan and had a day to kill, so my wif and 11 year-old son did this trial. We enjoyed it -- saw many coo birds including Osprey, finches, wood peckers, turkeys, etc. We heard a Bald Eagle, but didn't see it. Wish the trail was a little closer to the river, though. Painted rock was cool. Good trial for a family walk. Nice scenery and photo ops. Took about three hours, moderate pace.
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Very nice trail...I liek the fact tha a new trail has been cut around the beaver slide. Not only is it safer for hikers, it helps to preserve the slide for the iundustrious buggers...
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This is an outstanding little trail. It has a comfortable grade and their is relatively easy access provided by the two parking areas at either end. The opporunities for wildlife viewing are superb. I have personally seen Moose, Deer, Wood Duck, Muskrat and Heron in the wildlife area. It's only detracting point is that it is fairly heavily trafficked. This Natural Area is a true asset to the City of Spokane.

Little Spokane River Photos

Trail Information

Nine Mile Falls
Nearby City
7.7 miles
Several options
Trail Type
Skill Level
4 hours
Spring through fall
Riverside State Park, 9711 W. Charles Rd., Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026; (509) 465-5064
Local Contacts
Riverside State Park Multi-use Trail Map, produced by the Inland Empire Backcountry Horsemen, PO Box 30891, Spokane, WA 99223; This map may be purchased at the state park. OnXmaps are good topos of the area, as is the National Geographic Washington map on CD-ROM
Local Maps

Trail Log