“This loop takes visitors through all the landmarks of the Dishman Hills Natural Area.
— Carol Christensen
Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Older children would be able to manage this trail and it has great views and points of interest to keep them engaged. It also works well for kids in carriers.
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.
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 hikers 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, hiker 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 hikers 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