Dishman Hills Natural Area

Spokane, Washington

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Who would imagine that barely outside of Spokane, surrounded by car dealers, pavement, and subdivisions, a little plot of bird nirvana is tucked into the landscape? Set aside in order to preserve a “pre-pioneer ecosystem,” Dishman Hills offers a much-needed rest stop for spring and fall migrants as well as a breeding spot for summer residents among the mixed ponderosa-pine and fir forests and the small ponds surrounded by cottonwood and quaking aspen. Several trails crisscross the 518-acre site. The trail system is circuitous and complicated, so to avoid getting lost, take the map with you, and even with the map, note landmarks and trail markings to ensure you can easily find your way out when you want to. Those who are less sure on their feet may also want to take a sturdy walking stick. Any trail you choose to take will be a good choice, but if you can take the time to hike to one of the ponds, you will have a better chance of seeing more birds due to the changes in vegetation. Habitats: Mixed forest, wetlands. Specialty birds: Northern Goshawk; Northern Pygmy-Owl; Black-chinned, Calliope, and Rufous Hummingbirds; Pileated Woodpecker; Red-naped Sapsucker; Hammond’s, Dusky, and Pacific-slope Flycatchers; Cassin’s Vireo; Pygmy Nuthatch; Western Bluebird; Bohemian Waxwing.

Dishman Hills Natural Area Professional Review and Guide

"Who would imagine that barely outside of Spokane, surrounded by car dealers, pavement, and subdivisions, a little plot of bird nirvana is tucked into the landscape? Set aside in order to preserve a “pre-pioneer ecosystem,” Dishman Hills offers a much-needed rest stop for spring and fall migrants as well as a breeding spot for summer residents among the mixed ponderosa-pine and fir forests and the small ponds surrounded by cottonwood and quaking aspen. Several trails crisscross the 518-acre site.

The trail system is circuitous and complicated, so to avoid getting lost, take the map with you, and even with the map, note landmarks and trail markings to ensure you can easily find your way out when you want to. Those who are less sure on their feet may also want to take a sturdy walking stick. Any trail you choose to take will be a good choice, but if you can take the time to hike to one of the ponds, you will have a better chance of seeing more birds due to the changes in vegetation. Habitats: Mixed forest, wetlands. Specialty birds: Northern Goshawk; Northern Pygmy-Owl; Black-chinned, Calliope, and Rufous Hummingbirds; Pileated Woodpecker; Red-naped Sapsucker; Hammond’s, Dusky, and Pacific-slope Flycatchers; Cassin’s Vireo; Pygmy Nuthatch; Western Bluebird; Bohemian Waxwing."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Spokane
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 2,000 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Driving Directions: Directions to Dishman Hills Natural Area

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