Spokane, Wash

Rich Landers earned his hiking legend status back in 1987 when he authored “100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest.” Since then, he followed up that seminal title with paddling guides, day hiking guides, a second edition to 100 Hikes, and now Mountaineers Books has just released his latest guide, co-written with David Taylor, called “Urban Trails for Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.” 

Landers spent four decades serving as the outdoors editor for The Spokesman Review. To say he hiked a little bit is like saying the Pacific Northwest only has a few mountains. David Taylor is an Idaho native, and he has hiked extensively throughout North Idaho and Eastern Washington. This book focuses on urban trails so people can find safe and easy options for dog walking, hiking or trail running that don’t require a 4-wheel drive to reach the trailhead.

Each trail features distance, elevation gain, amenities and more. Notable sidebars contain area history, a wildflower identification guide, and public transit details. Although the book lists 50 hikes total, it mentions other important hiking options for areas like Dishman Hills and Riverside State Park.  

The Centennial Trail earned a special section in the book. It’s arguably the most popular trail in the area, and it’s regularly featured in national travel magazines. On page 217, the authors wrote, “With about thirty trailheads and even more access points, users can jump onto the Centennial Trail for short jaunts as well as long excursions, enjoying the [Spokane] river as a constant companion.” 

From veteran hiker to short distance novice, this book belongs on the bookshelf of every local outdoor enthusiast.

Urban Trails Guidebook. // Photo: Jon Jonckers.