Close to Spokane-Antoine Peak
By Abby McAllister
One of the reasons we love living in Spokane, WA is all of the great outdoor areas to explore. They come in all shapes and sizes but they all provide great access to the outdoors. A really great, close-in conservation area to visit is Antoine Peak. Laying just to the north of the Spokane Valley in the foothills, this sweet little hiking place (1076 acres) is fun to visit any time of year. We have hiked there in the spring when the wild flowers were just bursting out and in the winter for a bit of sledding fun. We have also chased down 3 of the many geocaches located on the peak.
If you are visiting for a hike you will park your car in the lot at the base of the hill. There is a large dirt parking area adjacent to a closed gate that marks the trail (there are funds to be used in the next two years to further develop this parking area and some of the trails). The trail itself is actually a dirt access road that allows service vehicles to reach the antennas at the top so it is wide and level and easy to follow. Our kids thought it would be a great mountain bike trip too! We brought our GPS unit along one day and found some geocaches near to the trail and some took us off trail. All paths lead upward so it is pretty easy to keep from getting lost.
The top offers views of both the aforementioned radio towers but also some 360 degree views including those of Liberty Lake and the Spokane Valley (from the 3,373 ft summit). Don't stop when you get to the towers-continue on over the "peak" a bit and you will find some lovely stone outcroppings which double as a snack spot and rock hopping fun. The best way out is back along the road so after a rest, head on back down. This area is a wildlife corridor connecting Mt. Spokane and the Spokane River but we haven't had any luck spotting any on our explorations.
Whether hiking, biking, geocaching, or sledding, Antoine Peak Conservation Area is a great place to spend an afternoon!
WHEN YOU GO: To get to the western parking area for Antoine Peak, make your way to the junction of N. Forker Road and E. Bigelow Gulch. Immediately north of this intersection on Forker you will turn right on E Brevier Road which heads straight east and dumps you directly into the new parking area if you stay straight. Click here for a map of the conservation area.