by Harley McAllister
There is a travel brochure for Spokane that describes our town as "Near Nature, Near Perfect." And indeed, one of the things we love about living here is that a short drive from our house in most any direction will provide us with places to be outdoors. This Spring we plan to review some of our favorites - all the nearby State Parks, Conservation Areas, Natural Areas, County Parks, etc. that we can go and play in. And the first of these is the Saltese Uplands Conservation Area.
Just this past weekend I found myself alone with my youngest son because all the other boys had activities. The weather was nice for February and so the mountains called. I only had a couple hours to get out so I immediately thought of this nearby retreat.
This area is roughly 550 acres of rolling hills that overlooks the Saltese flats below to the west, Liberty Lake to the east, with views of Mica Peak and the surrounding mountains above. There are 7 miles of trails that gently rise and fall with the terrain making it a great destination for hikers, dog walkers, hikers, bird watchers, and mountain bikers alike. The pictures will show you what it has to offer, and all of this is located but a 5 minute drive south of the Barker exit of I-90 in the Spokane Valley. Perfect for a quick getaway.
One thing to keep in mind when visiting here is that there are no trees on this parcel, so consider that on a hot day. But for that same reason we love to visit on bluebird days in the Winter and Spring so we can soak up the sunshine. The mountain bike trails here are well maintained, and the boys and I patrolled them a number of times last year. And we almost always see a raptor or two out there, and occasionally a whitetail at dawn or dusk.
cont'd with map at the bottom...
So if you live anywhere near the Spokane Valley, you owe it to yourself to check this place out. See the map below.
Harley & Abby McAllister
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