Hiking Project Logo

Best of the Dishman Hills Natural Area

Intermediate
  4.1 ( 7 ) Favorite

Trail

4.4 mile 7.1 kilometer loop
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

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

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

Family Friendly 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.

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.

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 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

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Need to Know

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

Aug 12, 2019
Chris Pawlowski
I didn't get to the whole trail. There was a deadfall on the Nimbus Knob loop from the storm 8/11. 3.5mi — 1h 08m
Jul 28, 2019
Jan Barnett
Jul 6, 2019
Kris S
4.6mi — 2h 21m
Apr 23, 2019
Jennifer Wilkerson
Jan 22, 2019
Brooke Carruthers
Not well marked, had to rely on GPS of this app and still got lost. Cool climbing area, great mini trails for next time
Aug 29, 2018
Kathy Janus
The smoke has finally cleared and we took full advantage of the clear skies! Graffiti disgrace the first part of the pond loop area 5.5mi
Jul 30, 2018
Miriam Nokes
6.5mi
Jun 26, 2018
Vicki Peterson
Great trail system and nice views. However, it definitely needs better signage. Existing signs were too few or vandalized. 4.6mi

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 7 votes

#2447

Overall
  4.1 from 7 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
86%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#147

in Washington

#2,447

Overall
51 Views Last Month
3,316 Since Jan 11, 2016
Intermediate

0%
14%
71%
14%
0%
0%

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

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking