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Fishtrap Lake - North

Eastern Washington > Spokane Area/Coeur d'Alene
47.3206, -117.8423 Map & Directions
4.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
126 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Wildlife
  • Lakes

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The Fishtrap area is part of the Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington. The deep coulees and canyons were carved by the Great Missoula Floods following the last Ice Age tens of thousands of years ago. Continue reading

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Hiking Fishtrap Lake - North

There is rich land here. Fishtrap Lake is rife with wildlife habitat and natural resources, and hikers who visit will enjoy the landscape in either a short 4 mile out-and-back, or a longer, 7.5 mile loop.

Beginning from the trailhead on Fishtrap Road, about a mile before the resort itself, the trail runs parallel to the lake for two miles. Be sure to stay on the trail, since it is abutted by private land.

At times the trail takes hikers to the cliffs overlooking the lake, and at other times it contours through ponderosa pine and aspen groves, or passes near basalt outcroppings, but it only descends to the lakeshore in two spots.

It's an excellent out and back, but there is also a longer loop option that takes hikers close to the Farmer's Landing trailhead and the old Ranch House before returning to the starting location.

The spring wildflowers are fantastic in the wake of the Watermelon Hill fire, which was started in 2014 by unknown persons shooting exploding targets, the resulting wildfire burned 13,000 acres. Look for a profusion of flowers here, as well as young aspen shoots popping out beneath the charred remains of their parent plants.

WTA worked here in 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015!

Hike Description Written by
Holly Weiler, WTA Correspondent

Fishtrap Lake - North

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.3206, -117.8423 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Spokane, drive west on Interstate 90. Exit the freeway at exit 254, signed for Fishtrap/Sprague Highway. Turn south here, and 2.4 miles from I-90, turn left on Fishtrap Road.

Continue for a little more than a half mile, and pull off on the right at the trailhead area. The trail follows a jeep track heading toward Fishtrap Lake. There is private land to your left, so be sure to stay on the trail during your hike.

More Hike Details


Eastern Washington > Spokane Area/Coeur d'Alene

Bureau of Land Management

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Desert Hikes: Washington (Bauer & Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods (Bruce Bjornstad - Keokee Books)

Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Rosalia

Fishtrap Recreation Area BLM PDF Map:

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Fishtrap Lake - North

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