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Carlson Road Loop



3.9 mile 6.3 kilometer loop
87% Runnable


Ascent: 671' 205 m
Descent: -680' -207 m
High: 2,196' 669 m
Low: 1,627' 496 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)


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Trail shared by Michele Firm

A loop journey with great viewpoints, both high on the bluff and low at the river.

Michele Firm

Features River/Creek · Views


This loop, connecting several marked trails in Riverside State Park, is sure to wake up your legs. Climb to Pine Bluff for beautiful views of the park, as well as a glimpse of downtown Spokane in the distance. Then wind your way back down to the Spokane River, passing many scree fields and geologic formations, for a break by the water.

Runner Notes

Some steep sections on the descent, full of rock gardens.


From the trailhead on Carlson Road, cross the street to the obvious footpath in the forest. Follow the doubletrack trail up the hillside. It eventually turns to singletrack and you'll move through some long switchbacks to gain the bluff.

Follow the meandering trail through the open forest, eventually discovering a series of overlooks. There are a few benches to rest and enjoy the view. To the northeast, you can see the rolling hillsides, and southeast, the tiny skyscrapers of downtown Spokane. Shortly after the viewpoints, the trail winds its way back down the hillside, passing several scree fields and one monolithic geologic formation.

Rejoin Trail 25 for a short bit (you'll see the mile markers), before turning right onto Trail 400 and joining the Centennial Trail. (You can also continue straight on Trail 25 to close the loop early and head back to the trailhead the way you initially came.) Enjoy the bench just across the trail for a beautiful snack spot near the river. Follow the Centennial Trail north for a short jaunt back to the trailhead.

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  4.5 from 2 votes
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in Washington


38 Views Last Month
1,255 Since Feb 19, 2016



The viewpoint from Pine Bluff
Feb 19, 2016 near Fairwood, WA
A large geologic formation rising above the trail!
Feb 19, 2016 near Fairwood, WA
The bench and viewpoint where trail 400 meets the Centennial Trail.
Feb 19, 2016 near Fairwood, WA
The view from the top of Pine Bluff toward the Spokane River.
Nov 13, 2015 near Fairwood, WA
One of many scree fields in Riverside State Park.
Feb 19, 2016 near Fairwood, WA
Hikers enjoying the bench with the view at the top of Pine Bluff.  Spokane River in the distance.
Nov 13, 2015 near Fairwood, WA


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