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Best of the Dishman Hills Natural Area

Intermediate

Trail

4.4 mile 7.1 kilometer loop
89% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 674' 205 m
Descent: -674' -205 m
High: 2,398' 731 m
Low: 2,009' 612 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 20% (12°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Carol Christensen

This loop takes visitors through all the landmarks of the Dishman Hills Natural Area.

Carol Christensen

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This loop features the best sections of trail and the high points of the Dishman Hills Natural Area, including Deep Ravine, Eagle Peak, Lost Pond, Nimbus Knob, East/West Pond and Camp Caro. This unique geologic area highlights the granite fault lines that define the Spokane Valley area and provides a pleasant, mostly wooded outing with minimal elevation gain/loss.

Runner Notes

Many rocks, exposed roots and railroad tie steps on this route.

Description

This loop starts at Camp Caro, an old Girl Scout Camp just off of Appleway Blvd. in the Spokane Valley. The trail travels uphill, to the first trail intersection. A left (east) turn will lead runners slightly north and east to the Deep Ravine Area. This area is popular with local climbers and has seen some rough use in spots due to transient traffic. The Ravine is cool and green even into late summer when the rest of the area is dry and brown. When the trail once more cuts east, there is a small section that is steep and eroded. Use caution here. At the intersection where the loop cuts south, the trail once more moves uphill through a lightly wooded area. Visitors can utilize the Goldback Loop Trail as well, but that trail is sketchy and difficult to follow in spots. The Deep Ravine Trail is better defined. Once the trail cuts back west, runner will be on a lightly wooded, wide and well-maintained trail.

The next trail intersection will take visitors briefly on the Pinecliff Loop before sending them slightly east and south onto the Eagle Peak Loop. At the southern-most point of this loop, there is an unsigned intersection, that cuts northwest, up a hill, that will take visitors to the top of Eagle Peak, the best view in the DH with 360 degrees, to Mt. Spokane, Mica Peak, downtown and Tower Mountain. The final spur is a little rocky and technical but the views are 100% worth it!

Returning to the main loop, visitors will travel northwest to the next intersection, a cut-off to Lost Pond on the Nimbus Knob loop. Lost pond actually sits on both sides of the trail and is a great place for wildlife viewing at dawn and dusk. In the spring, the frogs are prolific! As the trail loops north again, it will climb gradually to the top of Nimbus Knob, also a beautiful view of primarily north and west Spokane.

At the Nimbus Knob/ Pond Loop intersection, head west, following the main trail (there are some social trails that cut off from the sanctioned trail but it's pretty clear which trail runners should be on). This will loop back north with a few small viewpoints and a wide, easy trail. At the cut-off to the 8th Avenue trailhead, stay on the main trail heading north. It will soon cut east again and go up a hill to the East/West Pond area. This is also a "spur" that cuts off to the right/south and ends at a viewing platform over East Pond. Again, this area is prime for frog songs in the spring!

Back on the main trail, visitors will travel north again, down some aged and sketchy railroad tie steps back to Camp Caro.

Flora & Fauna

Ponderosa pine, mosses and lichens, wide variety of high desert wildflowers in the spring and early summer--most notably buttercups, arrowroot and grass widows. Granite rock faces. Moose, deer, skunks, rabbits, squirrels, cougars have been sighted in the area

History & Background

This area used to be a Girl Scout camp

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Check-Ins

Jul 13, 2019
Fumiko S-R
Aug 5, 2018
Summer Enser

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 7 votes

#2589

Overall
  4.1 from 7 votes
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Run Rankings

#150

in Washington

#2,589

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54 Views Last Month
3,474 Since Jan 11, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

During early-mid spring the frogs are most active and can be heard from Appleway!
Nov 9, 2015 near Dishman, WA
Eagle Peak.
Feb 22, 2016 near Dishman, WA
Hiking is better with friends on the Pond Loop Trail.
Dec 14, 2015 near Dishman, WA
Arrowroot is prolific in Dishman Hills in June/July!
Nov 10, 2015 near Dishman, WA
A bridge will take visitors over the Goldback Springs.
Jan 12, 2016 near Dishman, WA
Christmas snowfall on the Pond Loop Trail.
Jan 12, 2016 near Dishman, WA

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