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Painted Rocks - Knothead Trail Loop

 6 votes

Length

6.6 Miles 10.7 Kilometers

92%

Runnable

Elevation

874' 266 m

Ascent

-922' -281 m

Descent

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

2,449' 747 m

High

1,555' 474 m

Low

Conditions


Minor Issues 5 days ago
Muddy, Fallen Trees - Little Spokane is flooding a small section of the trail. Can go off trail to do around but it is definitely getting muddy. History

Getting forecast...

This run goes along the river, climbs up to a high viewpoint and dips down through a deep valley.

Karen Jurasin

Overview

This is a very popular run. The run takes you through the marsh environment, then to a higher elevation with more rock, and through a valley. There is a Blue Heron rookery and deer are often frequently sighted. No bikes, dogs or motorized vehicles allowed in this area. This is also a very popular paddle route and there is a "put in" for canoes at this trailhead too.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs

Need to Know

The viewpoints and trail can be icy in winter, so be careful of footing.

Runner Notes

Pretty good singletrack, but watch for rocks in the trail.

Description

This loop is usually started from the Painted Rocks Parking Lot (Little Spokane Natural Area). If you travel in a clockwise direction (steepest direction) it follows the Little Spokane River (watch for birds and moose) and then comes to a paved road. Crossing the road you'll start the uphill climb partly on the Knothead Trail which is partly on singletrack and partly on old road.

Cross the paved road again and soon you'll come to 2 signs that say 'Leaving the Natural Area." This is the old route but it goes on private land so be sure to follow the new re-route. The wonderful re-route (take the trail to the right at this junction) sponsored by REI and built by volunteers with Washington Trails Association switchbacks up the hillside allowing some views of nearby mountains and the Spokane River in the distance.

There is a short spur trail to the right part way up that leads to some awesome viewpoints but adds a little over a mile to the total distance. It is an out and back trail at this point in time but in the future will be a secondary loop option.

Continuing to climb on an old road you'll soon come to a bench. To the left is a little trail to a viewpoint overlooking Lake Spokane in the distance. The loop then descends into a deep forested valley and then returns to the trailhead.

Note: If you are looking for a shorter options, the Indian Painted Rocks trail as an out and back is a perfect easy option for families.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers in the spring.

History & Background

This property is part State Park and part Conservation Futures Property (Van Horn, Edburg and Bass Conservation Area) but is managed by Riverside State Park.

Contacts

You & this Featured Run


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Check-Ins

Sep 4, 2017
Isabelle Belzil
7.1mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 6 votes

#1369

Overall
  4.5 from 6 votes
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Rankings

#77

in Washington

#1,369

Overall
350 Views Last Month
3,981 Since Nov 17, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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