Located in the Selkirk Mountains, 23 miles (37 kilometers) northeast of the city of Spokane, Washington area, Mount Spokane State Park is a public recreation area open to the public. Mount Spokane, at 5,883 feet (1,793 meters), and other summits, such as Mount Kit Carson, Beauty Mountain, and Quartz Mountain, are all within the boundaries of the state park.
The park receives 300 inches (7.6 meters) of snow per year and is home to the Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park as well as an extensive system of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park is located within the park. With a total land area of 12,293 acres (4,975 hectares) as of 2018, it is the state’s largest state park, only slightly ahead of Riverside State Park (11,162 acres (4,517 ha), which is located 23 miles to the southwest and is the state’s second-largest state park.
In 1927, the park’s 1500 acres were dedicated to the public. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) employees planted grass, built picnics and parking places, built paths and shelters, and renovated roads around the United States during the 1930s.
Although state park architect Charles Saunders had previously developed a design for Vista House, the architect H. C. Bertelsen was responsible for the construction of both the house and the caretaker’s lodge in the park. Elmer Highberg was responsible for the construction of the caretaker’s cabin.
According to some sources, the CCC was responsible for the construction of Vista House. The Vista House, according to the State of Washington’s Cultural Resources Management Plan (2009), was built by a local contractor, E.O. Fieldstad, who was awarded the contract with a “low bid of $4,693.” According to the journal, “its proximity to the site of the Mount Spokane CCC camp may have led to the current perception held by many that the Vista House was constructed by the CCC.” The park contains 100 miles (160 kilometers) of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. From easy (the 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) Burping Brook Loop), to challenging (the 13-mile-long (21-kilometer) ‘Round the Mountain Trail), there is something for everyone. Skiing (both downhill and cross-country), snowmobiling, and snowshoeing are some of the popular winter activities. Aside from that, there is camping and picnics accessible.
The Bald Knob campground is often open from May through September, depending on the weather. There are seven primary trailheads to park at, ranging from Bear Creek Lodge, which is located just before the park’s entry, to the summit parking lot and view house. Winter parking permits are required at both the Lower Selkirk Sno-Park Parking Lot and the Upper Selkirk Lodge Sno-Park Parking Lot, which are located on the lower Selkirk ski hill.
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