Mount Spokane State Park contains an unforgettable “100 Classic Hike of Washington”, Mount Spokane Summit Trail. This epic 6.5-mile hike offers towering trees, vibrant wildflowers, and plenty of wildlife. The summit provides panoramic views of Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and distant mountains.
In this blog post I will cover how to access the trail, best times of the year to hike the trail, a trail guide, and of course determine if Mount Spokane deserves a spot on the 100 Classic Hikes of Washington list.
Hiked on May 26, 2023
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Map of Mount Spokane Summit
Mount Spokane is located on the ancestral lands of the Spokane, Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla and Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis tribes. We are grateful for the stewards of this land past and present. We are honored to be and recognize that we are guests on this land.
How to Access the Trail
The trail is located in Mount Spokane State Park in eastern Washington. Getting to the trailhead requires you to drive through the park where you will eventually reach a large parking lot. If the gate for the summit trail is open, you can continue driving to the campsite where the trail begins.
If the gate is closed to the campground, you can park in the large snowmobile lot. This will add an additional 1.5 miles to your hike, but is well worth it!
Leave your discovery pass in your windshield, lace up your boots and hit the trail!
Hiking to the Mount Spokane Summit
When I completed this trail, I needed to park at the base of the road up to the Mount Spokane Trailhead. You can see my route below:
If you’re parking at the base of the road, you will follow trail 130 until you reach trail 131 – Mount Spokane Summit.
When you step onto the Mount Spokane Summit Trail, you’re immediately immersed in a serene forest. Trail 130 has a gradual incline as it meanders through the forest. There are beautiful pockets of sparse trees to provide you with a sneak peak of the beautiful landscape surrounding the mountain.
As you pass streams, the calming sound of rushing water only adds to the peacefulness of the trail.
Eventually, you will reach Bald Knob Campground, which by the way, you should absolutely try to camp there! Bald Knob Campground is where you can find some parking for beginning the trail. You’ll continue onto Trail 130 which will bring you past an awesome cabin that was built by the CCC – Citizen Conservation Corp.
In 1934, the CCC opened Camp Francis H Cook near his old cabin. Cook originally built the first road to the top of Mt. Spokane and was influential in the city of Spokane itself. The CCC stationed 200 men in this area with the cabin and vista house being the only standing remnants of the large camp. As you hike around, you will see the trails, roads, and foundations of structures built by these men. The camp was closed as WW2 started.
Check Out Another Classic Hike: Kamiak Butte
As you continue, keep an eye out for the diverse flora and Pika tunnels. Depending on the season, you will encounter spectacular blankets of wildflowers on the trail. When I completed it in late May, I was still stepping on snow after I reached 5,000ft elevation.
As you ascend higher, you will eventually reach a section of switchbacks that wind below a ski lift. This section is rather demanding, but is definitely do-able by anyone up for a challenge.
Finally, you’ll find yourself standing atop Mount Spokane. The top provides panoramic views. There is an observation tower and cell tower on the top! During the summer season there are also bathrooms that are open for use.
After climbing nearly 1900 ft in elevation, if you’re beginning from Trail 130, take a moment to relax and enjoy the views before heading back down the trail.
Should Mount Spokane Summit be a 100 Classic Hike?
I absolutely think that Mount Spokane should be a 100 Classic Hike of Washington. I would even strongly encourage you to complete the 130 Trail and connect to the Mount Spokane Summit Trail – Trail 131.
If I am being honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this trail, but from the start I thought it was spectacular. I know you will feel the same way.
Safety and Precautions
When venturing into the outdoors, safety should be a top priority. Prior to completing the Mount Spokane Summit Trail, keep these safety tips in mind.
- Plan and prepare: Before hitting the trail, familiarize yourself with the route, trail conditions, and weather forecasts. Pacl Essential gear such as a map, compass, flashlight, first aid, extra layers, and food and water.
- Dress Appropriately: Wear sturdy shoes and layers for a change in weather conditions. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen on those sunny Spokane days!
- Stay hydrated and fueled: Carry an adequate water supply and snacks.
- Leave no trace: Respect the natural environment by following the principles of “Leave No Trace”. Pack out trash, be mindful of flora and fauna, and stone on designated trails to minimize impact.
- Stay alert and read trail markers: Pay attention to trial markers, signs, and any warnings along the route. There are a number of trails in the area, so it’s imperative to make sure you stay on the correct one.
By following these safety guidelines, you can enjoy the Mount Spokane Summit Trail to the fullest!
What to do after your hike:
There is SO MUCH to do in Mount Spokane State Park. After completing the Mount Spokane Summit Trail, consider exploring these other activities in the State Park:
- Camping: Extend your adventure by spending a night under the stars. Mount Spokane State Park features several campgrounds with facilities for tents and RV camping.
- Picnicking: Take a break or relax after your hike. There are a number of picnic tables and grills around the park.
- Winter Activities: Mount Spokane State Park offers outdoor recreation like cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. The park even grooms the trails for it!
Whether you’re seeking solitude, adventure, or a chance to connect with nature, this park has it all!