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Dishman Hills Conservation Area - Iller Creek

Eastern Washington

Location

Eastern Washington -- Spokane Area/Coeur d'Alene
View map below

Length

5.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1200 ft.
Highest Point: 3200 ft.

Rating

3.89 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2019
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Take a hike on the edge of Spokane Valley with commanding views of Spokane Valley and the Palouse. On the way, you'll see many plant species typical of western slopes of Cascades, a seasonal stream, and amazing variety of wildflowers through from late March through mid-July.

Iller Creek boasts a wonderful five-mile loop consisting of lush shaded forest and a ridgeline ramble with outstanding views of the Washington Palouse to the South and the Selkirks to the North and East. In the middle of the hike one reaches the Big Rocks (Rocks of Sharon), one of the best rock climbing destinations in the area.

This hike is on land purchased as part of the Conservation Futures program in Spokane County. The money is derived from a small percentage of homeowner property taxes. The trails at Iller Creek receive many hours of work by Washington Trails Association volunteers each year.

The best way to do this hike is counterclockwise. Starting at the Holman Road trailhead, stay right, following the west side of Iller Creek. The creek bed is mostly dry by late summer, but hiking in the valley will keep you cool for a while. From the trailhead, immediately enter a shaded forest and climb very gradually. At one mile in, there is a fork. Stay right and start climbing more steeply. You'll encounter another fork at approximately two miles. Take the left trail to abbreviate your hike, heading onto the "Upper Valley Trail" and taking about a mile off your total mileage, or take the right trail to continue to the Rocks of Sharon overlook. Many spur trails branch off into the surrounding forest, but the crucial junctions are marked with signs and mileage.

After a very short steep section the trail becomes more gradual and you enter an area of wonderful new trail built by WTA volunteers finally reaching an abandoned fire road. At this point you get your first outstanding views of Big Rocks and the surrounding area. Stay on the trail as it re-enters the forest, descending to a saddle between the east and west ridges. The Rocks of Sharon are to your right, as are expansive views across the Palouse to Steptoe Butte and beyond. Start another short climb to the high point of the hike and even more panoramic views of quiltlike farmland. This is a great spot to stop and have a snack.

You then begin your descent. In 0.2 miles you reach a T-intersection. Hang a left and continue descending. You are now on the East Ridge Trail. After a half-mile the trees disappear thanks to an old burn and you are treated to an outstanding view of Mount Spokane to the North. This ridgeline ramble is a delightful reward after the steep approach to Rocks of Sharon.

A gradual switchbacking trail built by Washington Trails Association takes you back to your car. The entire hike is five miles in length with about 1200 feet elevation gain and loss. It is certainly one of the best hikes in the Spokane area and also a great place to snowshoe in the winter. What's more is that you have the possibility of encountering moose and elk.

 

Dishman Hills Conservation Area - Iller Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.6053, -117.2808 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Eastern Washington -- Spokane Area/Coeur d'Alene

Iller Creek (#)

Spokane County Parks

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Eastern Washington (Romano and Landers -- Mountaineers Books)

USGS Spokane SE

Dishman Hills Conservations Area – Iller Creek Detail Spokane County PDF Map: https://bit.ly/2GJjE1Y

Getting There

From I-90, take the Argonne Road exit 287. Drive south on Argonne Road. Continue past Sprague Avenue onto Dishman-Mica Road, driving approximately 2.8 miles. Turn right at the Schafer Road stoplight and then right again at stop sign on 44th Avenue for another 0.2 miles. Turn left on Farr Road, continue to stop sign. Turn right on Holman Road, drive 0.75 miles to switchback (Holman becomes Rockcrest). Park on right before the switchback at the entrance to the Conservation Area. The Iller Creek Conservation Area is on both the right and left of the creek.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Dishman Hills Conservation Area - Iller Creek

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