Packer Creek

Ritzville, Washington

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Coal-black basalt bluffs and towering colonnades stand over the Packer Creek property. An intermittent lake nestled in the base of a coulee at the east side of the tract dries out in late summer, but throughout the winter and spring it provides a good home to waterfowl. Ducks and blue herons routinely fly around the lake and nearby marshy ponds, while other birds inhabit a grove of old poplars near a small spring along the valley floor in the western part of the tract. Orioles build nests on the branches, and woodpeckers bore holes in the tree trunks. On the ground along the dirt banks at the edge of the coulees, look for badgers, small rodents, and other burrowing animals. At 1652 acres, this area—at first glance—seems a little small for wild land hiking. However, once you step into the desert, you’ll find you can roam over all the 1652 acres of this desert playland. Hiking southwest on the old road leading from the trailhead area takes you into the heart of the land. At about 0.5 mile you’ll reach Packer Creek. You’ll also bump into a pocket of private land tucked into the BLM parcel (a private residence is situated on the private land parcel—respect the landowner’s privacy, please).

Packer Creek Professional Review and Guide

"Coal-black basalt bluffs and towering colonnades stand over the Packer Creek property. An intermittent lake nestled in the base of a coulee at the east side of the tract dries out in late summer, but throughout the winter and spring it provides a good home to waterfowl. Ducks and blue herons routinely fly around the lake and nearby marshy ponds, while other birds inhabit a grove of old poplars near a small spring along the valley floor in the western part of the tract. Orioles build nests on the branches, and woodpeckers bore holes in the tree trunks. On the ground along the dirt banks at the edge of the coulees, look for badgers, small rodents, and other burrowing animals.

At 1652 acres, this area—at first glance—seems a little small for wild land hiking. However, once you step into the desert, you’ll find you can roam over all the 1652 acres of this desert playland. Hiking southwest on the old road leading from the trailhead area takes you into the heart of the land. At about 0.5 mile you’ll reach Packer Creek. You’ll also bump into a pocket of private land tucked into the BLM parcel (a private residence is situated on the private land parcel—respect the landowner’s privacy, please)."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Ritzville
Distance: 4
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 1,700 feet
Top Elevation: 1,800 feet
Local Contacts: Bureau of Land Management, Spokane
Local Maps: Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Rosalia
Driving Directions: Directions to Packer Creek

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May 2018