Dishman Hills Loop

The 530-acre Dishman Hills Natural Area consists of a fir-studded rise dotted with ponds, granite rock formations, and several deep parallel ravines. It is almost entirely surrounded by residential housing and accessible from three sides. There are many loops, ranging from a short quarter-mile stroll to this 7-mile loop encompassing both the inner and outer trails. 

Location Selkirk Mountains
Rating 2.7 out of 5
Difficulty Moderate (some uphill hiking)
Distance 7.1 miles
Duration 2:18 hours moving time (hiking)
Elevation Gain 928 feet
High Point 2,429 feet (Eagle Peak)
Low Point 1,993 feet (Trailhead)
Trail Type Loop
Trailbed Packed dirt, gravel
Water At the lodge and there are a few ponds
Status Conservation Area
Administration Dishman Hills Conservancy
Conditions Excellent, but there is a web of trails and it can be difficult to make out the right one. GPS usage recommended
Permits None required
Camping Not permitted. Bathroom at Camp Caro (open during summer)
Maps USGS Spokane SE
Trailhead From I-90, take exit 287 (Argonne Road) and head south for 1.2 miles. Turn right onto Sprague and continue for .3 miles. Turn left onto S Sargent Road and continue across Appleway. The winter parking lot will be to your right (during the summer you can continue on Sargent to the summer parking lot near Camp Caro).

Google Directions (47.654407, -117.289656)

Season Year-around
Squirrel Density Dogs must be leashed. Mountain bikes not allowed
Features Lake, Structure
Distance From
  • Coeur d’Alene 27.6 miles
  • Lewiston 110.9 miles
  • Sandpoint 66.1 miles
  • Seattle 285.0 miles
  • Spokane 7.1 miles
Resources
Nearby Hikes
Date February 10, 2018

Sun poking over a ridge near the Pond Loop trailThe Dishman Hills area features several short loops that are combined into an inner and outer loop combo in this iteration. Start at the winter parking lot on Sargent Road and head west towards the alternate 8th Ave access point. Beware that there is a web of trails, besides the official trails, that makes navigation difficult. In fact, we ended up on a side trail too close to the edge of the property and had to “bushwhack” to the main trail using GPS directions (it wasn’t so much of a bushwhack as taking other sidetrails).

A rocky plateau with views of the Selkirk Mountains in the distanceThe Pond Loop trail is a wide gravel-packed doubletrack almost all the way to the fork to the 8th Ave trailhead about a mile in. Bear left and continue on the Pond Loop trail as it winds south through imposing rock outcroppings and soon dishes out fantastic views of Spokane. Eventually the trail will fork and, bearing right, turns into the Nimbus Knob Loop. This trail continues through thin fir forest and several small ponds to the Eagle Peak Loop. 

Mount Spokane in the distanceContinue south on the Eagle Peak Loop, leaving Eagle Peak on your left. The forest opens up and enables views across Spokane and the Glenrose Cliffs. This area burnt in 2008 and charred logs still predominate. Continue along the loop, which drops lower, heading east, then loops around again and ascends northwards. As it intersects with the Eagle Peak Cutoff Loop, head west again on the cutoff for a quick visit to Eagle Peak, the highest point of the Natural Area. The views in all directions are impressive, including those of snow-capped Mount Spokane.

Deep Ravine cave from a distanceBacktrack a bit, then continue north on the Eagle Peak Loop to the intersection with the Goldback Loop trail. Swinging a right, you’ll drop lower along the edge of the preserve, but eventually head north again towards the alternate trailhead on Siesta Drive. The Goldback Loop will fork and turning right you’ll enter the Deep Ravine Loop and its sheer rock walls. This loop brings you to the northern end of the property, where a small cave awaits. Then it’s uphill and westwards to Camp Caro, a former Girl Scout lodge.

Camp Caro LodgeThe quick way back to the parking lot is through the lodge and northwards; instead, head south and uphill on a wide trail (Pinecliff Loop) past the trailmap kiosk. This trail leads to Caro Cliffs, where a graffiti-covered bench invites to rest, then turns right (westwards) and enters Enchanted Ravine. Climbing out of the ravine, the trail turns north and through light forest and a myriad of rock formations returns to the parking lot. 

Enjoy this hike? Let us know in the comments below!

Trail near Camp Caro winter parking lot
Trail near Camp Caro winter parking lot
Sun poking over a ridge near the Pond Loop trail
Sun poking over a ridge near the Pond Loop trail
Rock formations along the Pond Loop trail
Rock formations along the Pond Loop trail
There are numerous puddles along the Pond Loop trail
There are numerous puddles along the Pond Loop trail
Much of the Pond Loop Trail is a wide twintrack
Much of the Pond Loop Trail is a wide twintrack
A rocky plateau with views of the Selkirk Mountains in the distance
A rocky plateau with views of the Selkirk Mountains in the distance
Views across the city of Spokane are splendid
Views across the city of Spokane are splendid
A small pond along the Nimbus Knob Trail
A small pond along the Nimbus Knob Trail
Snag in a burnt section (2008 fire)
Snag in a burnt section (2008 fire)
More views of Spokane
More views of Spokane
There is a large burnt area near Glenrose Cliffs
There is a large burnt area near Glenrose Cliffs
Panorama shot from Eagle Peak
Panorama shot from Eagle Peak
Eagle Peak
Eagle Peak
Mount Spokane in the distance
Mount Spokane in the distance
Much of the trail leads through woods. This is along the Goldback Loop Trail
Much of the trail leads through woods. This is along the Goldback Loop Trail
A bridge on the Goldback/Deep Ravine trail
A bridge on the Goldback/Deep Ravine trail
This flooded section is actually where the trail is (Deep Ravine Trail)
This flooded section is actually where the trail is (Deep Ravine Trail)
Lets hope he was found! We didnt see any dogs…
Let’s hope he was found! We didn’t see any dogs…
Naughty looking for Shiloh
Naughty looking for Shiloh
Icicles near the Deep Ravine cave
Icicles near the Deep Ravine cave
Deep Ravine cave
Deep Ravine cave
Deep Ravine cave from a distance
Deep Ravine cave from a distance
Camp Caro Lodge
Camp Caro Lodge
Heading south on the Pinecliff Loop
Heading south on the Pinecliff Loop
Enchanted Ravine near the junction of Pinecliff and Nimbus Knop trails
Enchanted Ravine near the junction of Pinecliff and Nimbus Knop trails
Views from Pinecliff trail
Views from Pinecliff trail
Trailmap

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Maia K. says:

    Wo ist Manchee?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. naughtyhiker says:

      Jetzt ist sie da!

      Liked by 1 person

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