A perfect beginners snowshoe adventure with big views and even bigger rocks!
Okay, so here are the fast facts:
Distance: 2.5 miles, out and back
Elevation gain: 600 ft
Parking: Steven’s Creek parking lot, dirt but maintained (and plowed in the winter)
Toilets: Porta Potty
Dogs: Dogs are allowed on this trail on a leash
Features: “Big Rock” which is a giant boulder that extends 230 feet from the ground, another large rock with a hole through it, and of course the views of the Palouse
What makes this exciting: It’s a short easy hike with great views. This is a popular climbing destination but also, if you are able bodied, careful, and with good conditions, you can, without climbing gear, make it to the top of one of the rocks to get an even better view (in the summertime).
How to get there: From I-90, take Argonne Road exit 287. Drive south on Argonne Road. Continue past Sprague Avenue onto Dishman-Mica Road and follow it for 7.3 miles to the intersection with SR-27. Turn right on SR-27 and go south for 2.7 miles. Turn right onto the Palouse Highway and follow 4.9 miles to the intersection with Stevens Creek Road. Turn right on Stevens Creek Road and follow 2.4 miles to the parking area.
How to not go the wrong way: Once at the parking lot, continue on foot up the road (signs are there to help guide you). Follow the dirt road, walk around the road closed gate, and continue for a quarter of a mile. You will reach a large opening. Take the path straight ahead, a little to the left. You will reach the Rocks of Sharon less than a mile in.
The "Shortcut" labeled in the photo above was the original way up to the Rocks of Sharon until the switchback trail was created. Pick your poison! We did the switchbacks up and then took the steeper (and quicker) route back down. We should have brought a sled to make it a little more interesting! haha. There is a trail sign next to the switchback trail (you can kinda see it in the photo just a ways in front of Josh).
The views for us were a little obstructed from the foggy/low cloud day, but the view of the rolling Palouse from up here is pretty awesome!
The slightly higher elevation makes for a slightly colder climate, more snow, and more wind. We absolutely loved finding the snow since it's been such a mild winter so far!
The only disclaimers I have are: We hiked when the snow was fairly fresh which allowed for more traction on the way up (although not enough snow for snowshoes). A couple days later, and there would have been spots on the trail that were icy and dangerous on the way up and for sure on the way down. If you decide to make this a snowy adventure like we did, know that there is a possibility that you might have to turn back toward the very top where it gets fairly steep. Or bring snowshoes for more traction and even ski poles for assistance in the tougher spots.
This is an incredible less-known area of Spokane to get amazing views of the Palouse and can be accessed year-round. So strap on those snowshoes and get after it!