It is a nice little hike. Has beautiful scenery. There is a bit of a detour in the trail that takes you up the side of the hill, which adds some nice variety. I was a bit disappointed though to realize once we got to the end of the trail that the "Indian painted rocks" are actually at the trailhead. And they done really live up to the hype. I can get why they are being preserved, but they almost look like a graffiti done by a couple teenagers. Nice little hike though, great for kids and others who are looking for an easy hike.
This park is closed as of mid July 2015. There was a fire somewhere along the Little Spokane River recently but I don't know why that would close the park. Anyway it hasn't stopped people going to the park or the river, they just park haphazardly along the road now instead of safely in the parking lot. Hopefully the park will reopen soon.
Did the trail reverse from the Long Lake end back to Painted Rocks yesterday. It was a little hot but always a great walk. We take our kayaks down the little Spokane from Painted Rocks down to Long Lake, lock them up with a cable and lock and then take the trail back to pick up the truck. It's nice to be able to combine a kayak trip and a hike in one afternoon.
A lot of people don't realize that there is an entire loop you can hike in this area. I started off at the trailhead next to the restrooms in the main parking lot on Rutter Parkway, then followed an old unused road for a few miles until the trail narrowed and began to climb. At the top there are some nice vistas of the Spokane River and the mountains beyond. I descended from here along the Knothead Trail and looped back beside the Little Spokane until I reached the painted rocks and the parking lot where i started. I saw several geese and one deer. Total distance hiked: 6.8 miles.
They have several free parking days a year posted and will probably get a discovery pass next year for $30. Very easy hike, but went later in the day so only saw ducks. A few nice views and places to view just off the trail. No real trail markers so will need to explore more next time.
A really peaceful hike along the Little Spokane River. On Saturday's its usually really busy, but other than that you'll have opportunities to see deer, moose, hummingbirds, bald eagles, butterflies, and several other types of wildlife. Overall a good hike, not too difficult. If you want to get some great views, take the Painted Rocks trail that goes off to the right. Just stay on the road (no longer in use) and it'll loop down back down. Look at my tracks post to get an idea of that hike.
Patrick D. on Little Spokane River
If you are looking for a peaceful stroll along a well groomed path, then this one fits the bill. There is a hill near the half way point of this out and back, which makes it nice. The hill (such as it is) can make you feel like you got at least some exercise. This trail would be great for families, beginners or someone who needs to de-stress. I want to take it again when the spring bloom hits.... I can only imagine it is spectacular then. With a temp. of 35-40 degrees and having been sunny in the mid-morning, with approx. 70 percent of the trail been shaded, this was as close to a perfect hike as I can imagine.