Difficulty:Easy to more difficult if you scramble/bushwhack your way further up the slot canyon
Terrain: Starts out as a sandy trail and gradually gets rockier. There are a couple of short slot canyon offshoots to the left and right to explore along the way. At about mile 2.5 the trail begins to disappear into the heavy overgrowth. Continue on if you’re up the challenge.
Located just outside the Kolob Canyons area of Zion National Park, Spring Creek slot canyon makes for a beautiful hike any time of year, but especially in leaf peeping season – as you can see why. There are a few minor creek crossings, but it’s relatively easy to keep your feet dry. (No water shoes needed.) I took the trail 4.5 miles up – if you’re going beyond 2.5 miles, I highly recommend hiking shoes and long pants.
Getting there: Take the I-15 to the Kanarraville Exit, and follow the main route to the south edge of town. At 400 South Main Street, take the route that heads southeast toward the cliffs. Follow it for about 0.82 miles to the parking area and trailhead.
First impressions: Fantastic fall foliage, clean, bike-friendly city, easy to navigate, nice parks, incredible vistas, great centennial trail, rainy.
Arrived at the small airport at noon, rented a car, and headed directly to Spoke ‘N Sport. Pete set us up on a couple hybrids for our quick tour of Spokane. Just a half hour after landing, we’re pedaling through Riverfront Park, meandering by Gonzaga University where the fall’s display was in its full glory.
Despite the brisk, wet weather, there were many runners (one stud without a shirt), bikers, and skateboarders about. In addition to nature’s displays, the city also features many outdoor art sculptures.
A little history:
Built in 1911, the 896 foot Monroe Street Bridge spans the Spokane River, which flows at 7,946 cubic feet per second here. The Spokane River is a tributary of the Columbia River, approximately 111 miles long, in northern Idaho and eastern Washington. At one time, Spokane was internationally known for its fishing, including Chinook, steelhead and coho salmon and, above the falls, a huge population of cutthroat trout. Sadly, those days are long gone.The Little Falls Dam, built in 1911 had only had a rudimentary fish ladder and the Long Lake Dam built in 1915 didn’t have one at all. In 1939, the Grand Coulee Dam blocked the Columbia, which sealed the salmon off from the entire Spokane River and thus destroyed a dietary staple and way of life of the Spokane Indians and many other tribe’s.
We managed to get in some great views of Spokane Falls, Riverfront Park and cruise an upscale neighborhood on Summit Road before the rain became more insistent.
Very enjoyable afternoon spent in Spokane. Would like to return and explore some more and do the Centennial bike trail to Coeur d’alene and back.
Coeur d’alene was next on the agenda, but the overly-manicured waterfront park, upscale shops and restaurants didn’t appeal in the pouring rain. We kept driving and happened upon the charming gem of Sandpoint, Idaho, where we spent the night.