With hiking trails crisscrossing more than 3,200 acres of public land from the floor of the Spokane Valley to the top of one of the Selkirk Range’s southernmost peaks, the Dishman Hills bring the beauty of the Inland Northwest’s natural environment directly into the city, and that’s by design.
“Our goal is to preserve in perpetuity,” says Isobel Smith, outreach director at the Dishman Hills Conservancy. “Our first goal is to outright purchase the land so that in 100 years or 200 years the land won’t be developed, it will still be there for [the] public and wildlife.”
The Dishman Hills Conservancy helps manage and preserve three distinct areas of public land, with the Dishman Hills Natural Area at its northern end; from Glenrose east to Phillips Creek across its midsection; and along Iller Creek to the Rocks of Sharon in the south.
In the natural area, hikers can meander around massive granite outcroppings. Glenrose and Phillips Creek provide sweeping prairie vistas and open skies. More adventurous hikers can follow Iller Creek along the forested eastern slopes of Tower Mountain up to the Rocks of Sharon, where even more massive granite monoliths stand atop the ridge and look out across the vast Palouse.
“Spokane is really unique in that it has a lot of different ecosystems,” Smith says.
The Dishman Hills are a contrast, where many of those ecosystems exist in their natural state while surrounded by urban sprawl that the conservancy has been working to halt on its land for more than half a century. That precarious position, with development fencing it in on three sides, is also part of its charm. It’s deep in nature, but at the same time it’s right here.
“What I love about the Dishman Hills is that you can get to any trailhead within a 20-minute drive from wherever you live in Spokane,” Smith says.
2nd PLACE: Liberty Lake Loop
3rd PLACE: Mount Spokane State Park
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Tubbs Hill, Coeur d’Alene
Article Source: Inlander