Spokane rocks: 4 awesome trails for hiking with dogs

pitbull hiking in north idaho

Every time I look at Bella these days, I see one filthy dog.

But every time I look at Bella these days, I see one happy dog who has been hitting some cool trails peppered with big Spokane rocks.

And Idaho, too!

maremma sheepdog on revett lake trail

One filthy Maremma sheepdog

Bella and I have been teaming up with a few friends, whom you’ve seen before, to make sure we have some great content for another hiking with dogs feature in the Spokesman-Review this weekend.

It’s a bonus that I needed dogs on rocks for this week’s post in the worldwide pet photographers blog circle.

I couldn’t wait to show you Spokane rocks.

Hiking with dogs around Spokane

The longer the Canada-U.S. border is closed to nonessential travel, the longer I’m kept away from a hiking trip with a friend in the Kootenays of British Columbia.

We already have our hikes planned. We just need the permission.

In the meantime, Bella and I are getting warmed up with some help from friends, lots of hikes and snack breaks on Spokane rocks.

Mount Kit Carson Trail, Mt. Spokane State Park

This is hands-down my new favorite trail. Bella and I got up early in the morning and made our way up the hill to the trailhead.

We were the only beings around for a couple miles.

We got to a trail junction and a group of mountain bikers were waiting to head down the hill.
Random dude: “Hey, did you see anyone else on the trail?”

Me: “Nope.”

Bunch of random dudes: “Sweet!” “Yes!” “Let’s go!”

I heard their whoops as they launched onto the trail and Bella and I turned to keep going up.

The trail is a nice, easy walk through the woods with a gentle rise over the three miles up to the top.

Just as the trail flattens and we break through to the edge, we see a few big rocks and the most incredible vista for as far as the eye can see.

dog on spokane rocks at mount kit carson summit

The summit

I turned to Bella and said, “This. This is what it’s all about.”

We’ll go back to this trail again. Many times.

Coal Creek, Idaho

I’m not sure if this is a do-over or not. It may be too daunting.

And very un-picturesque.

It’s a single-track trail, constantly uphill, and we gave up before we reached the trail junction to head downhill. We came to a rather steep-looking hill at the 3.22 miles and our hiking partner Tamara McKenna, our friend who rescued two pitbulls in Florida and brought them home to Idaho, decided it was a good time to turnaround.

bella on the coal creek trail in north idaho

Waiting for friends

That downhill was so steep that my toes were fully punished by my hiking boots by the time we were done. Luckily, I carry a pair of Croc flops with me wherever I go.

It’s definitely a dry, dusty trail, too, but there’s a few spots for the dogs to jump into the creek along the way.

Just not a lot of rocks.

waterfall on coal creek in north idaho

Coal Creek

Yeah, I guess “un-picturesque” is unfair but, on the heels of my incredible view at Kit Carson, I found the trail pretty meh.

Liberty Creek Loop, Liberty Lake

OK, remember when Bella and I got stung by hornets last year? It’s was on the first bit of this trail, along the Split Creek loop.

Undaunted, we went back, dragging our friends Terry and Maverick with us.

terry sasser and his corgi Maverick

Terry and Maverick

We went up the equestrian side and, let me tell you, that trail is a bitch. It punished my hamstrings with steady steep inclines and few switchbacks to give the old gams a break.

There are few rocks but at least there’s a couple of logs crossing the creek!

pembrooke welsh corgi on liberty creek hiking trail

Tightrope walking

I just love how Maverick keeps up with Bella. Terry calls his legs “drumsticks” and Bella looks like she has giraffe legs next to him.

maremma sheepdog and pembrooke corgi hiking in liberty lake

Best buds

It’s a great trail but since it’s more urban, it’s heavily trafficked. Coming down the backside, the trail becomes single track and congestion on a Sunday morning is common.

I have to tell you this adorable story, though. On one of the switchbacks, we came across a couple with a Doberman pinscher and a pitbull. She was holding them so we could pass and, of course, Bella was charging down the hill at her hyperfocused speed.

The gal sees Bella and Maverick and says, “hey, are those the Noses and Toes dogs?”

Unfortunately, I was all the way down and could only call back, “Yes,” before Bella pulled me away again.

Revett Lake, Idaho

Aaah, a view plus rocks.

Lots of rocks, like hills of rocks.

bella on the revett lake hiking trail in north idaho

Maremma on the rocks

This is a great trail. It’s a nice, easy walk with well-placed switchbacks and in about three miles, we came upon a little piece of paradise.

revett lake, north idaho

Revett Lake


Revett Lake is surrounded by rocks. Big boulders were a great place to perch for snacks and photos of dogs on rocks.

hiking with dogs to revett lake in north idaho

Tamara with her pitbulls Wally, left, and Ethel

Idaho and Spokane rocks measure up

I always consider myself fortunate to live in places with incredible scenery — Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, British Columbia, Alberta and the Rocky Mountains, and now the Inland Northwest of the United States.

Each one is unique and I’m so happy to be able to train my camera on dogs against all that scenery now.

I’ll always say Mother Nature has the best studio.

The Idaho and Spokane rocks are a great “prop” and the backgrounds are amazing, especially for booking an Adventure Day session with me.

All around the circle

Rock ‘n roll, kids!

It’s time head out into the world and see more dogs on rocks in our blog circle.

Start with Kelly Middlebrooks with Little White Dog Pet Photography in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Click the link at the bottom of Kelly’s post to get to the next post and so on. When you get back here to Spokane rocks, you know you’re home.

Right where you belong.

10 thoughts on “Spokane rocks: 4 awesome trails for hiking with dogs”

  1. Hmmm, not sure you’ll ever be able to keep a white dog that loves to hike very clean, but I guess we can all dream! Gorgeous scenery and super helpful post I’m sure for those in the area.

  2. Kelly Middlebrooks

    So many cool places!!! I think that second image is my favorite with the trees in the background. Fun!

  3. Pingback: Pet Photography Weekly Challenge 2020 - Week 30 Dogs on Rocks - Shae Pepper Photography

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