A Winter Hike At Holmberg Park, Spokane

If you’re thinking of visiting Holmberg park in Spokane, WA, hiker beware.  Holmberg is a regional park, moderated by Spokane County. It’s close to a school and has great parking. For the most part it’s a fun hike and great for the kids. But if you’re going with ice or snow on the ground, it will be difficult for beginners and ill equipped no ices. If you r decided to reap the rewards of all those hills to check out the great view of Mt. Spokane, I’d advise you not to bring your little ones.

We set out on our first of #fiftynewhikes back in 2019 with a visit to Holmberg Park.  The high temp for the day was 36F and we timed it so that we got the warmest part of the day with the most light.  I wanted a woodsy hike, and we got it, along with ice, snow, and frozen bushes that saved my ass from falling off a rock cliff.  Though, the bushes were nowhere to be found when My Mechanic slid down a steep dirt hill and dropped like a rock to prevent Abalone from suffering his same fate.  Knocked the wind right out of him.

The hike started with a gradual climb to a meadow plateau.  I researched the map ahead of time and downloaded it as an image to my phone from a pdf.  We decided to go to the viewpoint first, then circle around at the end and make it back to the car.  

After the meadow, we began our gradual climb.  Many spots still had snow and packed ice from previous hikers.  Because of this, we had to walk on the sides of the fire road to avoid slipping back down the hill.  

The boys found many large boulders along the way to climb on while Abalone and I rolled our eyes a lot at their tangents because she and I were just trying not to get any concussions from slipping on the ice.

We followed the trail west from the parking lot, then south to the viewpoint cliff.  The boundaries of Holmberg Park sit adjacent to private property and many homes. If you go, please be aware of this and respectful of the residents.  Just before we headed south we came upon a gated area with a large water cistern.

We thought the trail was closed but as we inched closer to the gate, we saw that it headed up the hill and to the right.  So we climbed the switchbacks and wound up behind and above the cistern, just before encountering downed trees about halfway to the viewpoint from the cistern.

Just before the viewpoint is a steep dirt trail that reminds me a bit of the Lothlorien Woods.  It was as if the trees whispered to each other as we climbed along their roots before we finally reached the rocky, bushy, cliff.  At this point we had to make a decision on what we were going to do.

The rocky cliff had a great big flat spot at the top, if we could get to it.  But there was a narrow path and nothing to hold on to.

So My Mechanic walked the path first and I stood at a ledge that put me about waist high for the kids.  One by one they walked the path while I stood just below them. I used the bushes to grab hold of to make sure I didn’t lose my footing.

It was a very pretty view. It was a clear day and we could see a lot of Spokane sprawled our around us. Even easier to see was Mt. Spokane.

After we came down from our idiotic cliff climbing decision (seriously, that was a really dumb decision) we hiked a few more trails, found deer prints throughout the snow, and then the kids found an ice slide and took turns skimming on top of the frozen paths as we made our way back down to the car.

What I didn’t know is that I had come down with the Demon Cold of 2019.  Not the flu, but not a normal cold. And when we reached the car to head back home, I could feel the chill of the fever hit me.  

So what’s the verdict? My kids are 7 and 9 years old and have been on many hikes. I would not recommend going to the viewpoint at Holmberg Park with kids who don’t do this type of thing regularly. I would also not climb the icy hills and I’d probably just bring snow shoes and enjoy the trails in the snow that way.

We’ll visit again this year after it’s warmed up. It’s on our list of hikes and our plan to get 30 hours outside each month.

What do you have to say for yourself?