60 degree weather means it’s time for a hike! On March 8th, I set out to explore the Liberty Lake Loop, a popular trail in Spokane County that normally runs from April to October. This hike is one of the best trails I have done in a long time. A 9-mile loop that stretches deep into the forest, the Liberty Lake Loop is full of incredible scenery, plenty of shade and infrequent, but breathtaking views.
Starting out, you walk along a nicely maintained path from the county park for about a mile before really getting into the forest. As you travel into the forestry, a cool breeze greets you as you walk along the creek. We did this hike around 2 PM, and it was still pretty chilly down by the water. Wooden bridges that connect to lots of places to stop and explore are prominent throughout this first stretch. The trail is very well marked and you should not have trouble following the path, especially as the creek guides you along.
As you make your way past the creek, you enter into an open forestry area that contains some of the last old growth cedar trees in Spokane County. This is a great place to stop and have a picnic or simply take some pictures. At this point in the trail, you really feel like you are cut off from the city and are fairly deep inside the forest. Now, prepare for the toughest part of the trail as you cross the last wooden bridge and start trekking on some serious switchbacks straight up the hill. After you reach the top of the switchbacks, a glorious view meets you that shows just how deep into the forest you are. You can see the beach and Liberty Lake from this vantage point.
The final stretch of the initial loop is about 2 1/2 miles to the year-round waterfall. Another incredible view along this trail allows you to look far into a giant clearing of the forest. At this point you’re at about 1,500 feet elevation. The waterfall is located in a wonderful little spot, with plenty of room to enjoy the beauty around you. From here you can either continue through the loop or return the way you came. The trail begins to move fairly steep upwards, as you follow the waterfall along. We turned around after reaching about 3,000 feet, unfortunately there are no views from this part of the trial.
Overall, this was an impeccable hike, and a great way to spend a Sunday. The only disadvantage to this venture was the amount of mud on the trail. The mud became quite thick in areas, and my shoes needed a good cleaning after returning home. Here are some pictures I took from various points in the hike.
To get to the Liberty Lake Loop Trail (from Coeur d’Alene) exit off I-90 at Liberty Lake. Take the roundabout towards Liberty Lake and turn left on Appleway at the intersection. Turn right on Molter and continue past the golf course until Valleyway. Turn left on Valleyway and follow until it becomes Lakeside Road. Turn right at the signs for Liberty Lake County Park. There is a nice parking area and a children’s playground but follow the trail away from the playground and you will be on your way! Post your experiences the Liberty Lake Loop here!