Desert Trail: Mt. Spokane Segment
This section starts out on the west side of Spokane. Through Spokane it mostly follows the Centennial bicycle trail along the Spokane River. I found it to be a very pleasant walk with awesome views of the river. Needless to say, you should be able to find just about anything you want in Spokane, including an REI.
Once you leave the Centennial Trail, most of the route is a road walk except for the Mt. Spokane area. There is trail hiking here and a great view from the summit. You can check out the beautiful stone Vista House, a good spot to have lunch and get out of the sun, wind or rain.
When you reach Hwy 41 at Blanchard there is a good cafe a few hundred yards down the road if you take a right. Along Hwy 41 you should be able to find decent walking off the shoulder of the road for much of the way to Newport. Newport has motels and grocery stores, restaurants and a Post Office.
It is roughly 36 miles from West Spokane to the summit of Mt. Spokane and about 16 more miles to Blanchard. Newport is about 12 more miles from there. So the entire segment length is about 64 miles.
You can read my journal entries of this segment starting here.
As usual, there are no Desert Trail markers of any kind.
The Desert Trail in Washington is plotted on Google Maps below. Below you will also find maps that you can view online or print.
The source of some of the maps posted below is the Benchmark Map: Washington Road & Recreation Atlas I bought one of these atlases for each state along the Desert Trail. They were super handy for planning purposes and you can photocopy pages to bring with you for “the big picture.”
If you hike this segment of the Desert Trail, please report your experience below, including water sources, routefinding etc.
I have information on each of the new Desert Trail segments from Highway 78 in Oregon to Canada as seen below. For a rough digital map of that stretch of trail, click here.
Warm Springs: Highway 78 to Drinkwater Pass
Malheur: Drinkwater Pass to Austin Junction
NF John Day Wilderness: Austin Junction to FR 52
Wallowa: FR 52 to I-84
Umatilla I-84 (Exit 243) to Timothy Springs
Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness: Timothy Springs to Dayton
Wheat Land: Dayton to Hooper
Columbia Plateau: Hooper to Spokane
Mt. Spokane: Spokane to Newport
Selkirk Mountains: Newport to Canada
View Desert Trail: Washington State in a larger map where can download the .kml file if you want and convert it for use with most GPS units.
Do not rely on the digital map for following the Mt. Spokane hiking trails.