Hog Canyon Falls in April 2011
A NOTE OF CAUTION (5/31/2016): After reading comments elsewhere and here, I feel led to state that you should use caution when approaching this waterfall. I believe in respecting ALL private property so we can continue to visit waterfalls. In this case, I would suggest staying some distance from the waterfall EVEN if it seems like you might be able to get closer to barbed wire or other marked boundaries. It (anecdotally) seems that the landowner has some extreme reactions at times, and so I wouldn’t risk getting too close. Bring a lens that can zoom and enjoy it from afar on public land…
I’m not really sure why Hog Canyon Falls isn’t more widely known, but maybe that’s a good thing. The waterfalls in downtown Spokane are popular, as is Palouse Falls, which is southwest of Spokane. In the books on Pacific Northwest waterfalls, though, there really isn’t any mention of falls in between. I personally feel this falls is more than interesting enough to warrant a stop, and it’s right in on the way!
Getting to Hog Canyon Falls is not really that bad, as long as you stay on the trail, which sometimes seems to lead away from the lake. The lake itself is very beautiful, and the rock cliffs that rise out of the water are impressive and photogenic. At first, when you’re hiking along, you might wonder where the falls are (or where they could be hidden), and then suddenly, you’ll see the falls off in the distance, over the blue lake in front of you. Since the falls is on private property, please pay attention and do not go any further than any wire fence boundary that has been set up. There are great views to be had even from a distance. (Please respect any boundaries…there seem to have been some altercations over trespassing as of April 2016, and I wouldn’t want access to see the falls to disappear.)
1) From I-90/US-395 south of Spokane, take exit 254.
2) We were heading south along the way. Once you exit, turn LEFT (if you were going south) onto Sprague Highway Road.
3) Drive south along the road until you come to the first dirt road on your LEFT. You will have just passed under a railroad overpass.
4) Head south a short distance down the dirt road (on maps/GPS as Lake Valley Loop Road).
5) After a little over a mile, turn right toward the BLM access area. After a ways, you will reach a sign indicating a trailhead. You may be able to get to the falls from here, but you won’t see the lake. Continue heading down the narrow dirt road until it ends at a boat launch.
6) Park here. Walk toward the lake and start following the trails near the lake. The best bet to finding the falls is to keep the lake in your sight at all times (unless when it’s dangerous!). You’ll walk the whole length of the lake to get to the falls, which is not nearly as long as it seems, but the terrain is a little steeper than might be expected. Still it’s doable.
Accessibility: 5/10 (may be easier if you stay on the wider trails, but you may not see the lake as well)
Where in the World is Hog Canyon Falls?: map