Skip to content

5 epic locations for Spokane and North Idaho wildflowers in dog portraits

    big white dog surrounded by North Idaho wildflowers

    Timing is everything.

    Especially when you’re a photographer on the hunt for Spokane and North Idaho wildflowers.

    You see, they’re only around for a brief period of time and if you miss that teeny tiny window — poof! —they’re gone and you have to wait until next year.

    Hunting locations for North Idaho wildflowers

    Typically, every spring I drag Bella along for a dusty jaunt down Highway 27 for a day on the Palouse.

    I keep trying to get the perfect image of her in the lupines and I know … I just know … I should be waiting for an epic sunset. Trouble is, I leave too early and then we’re both beat and hungry before golden hour even strikes.

    This year, the road trip didn’t happen at all! #wompwomp

    For good reason, though! I was hella busy bouncing up and down the 95 to Sandpoint, Idaho, and all points in between to shoot 45 sessions in 10 weeks.

    It might sound like back-breaking work but it was such an important project, raising money for the Better Together Animal Alliance and producing my first-ever book, Paws of the Panhandle (currently in design).

    I did not, however, miss out on Spokane and North Idaho wildflowers. I made sure to schedule a few sessions in places where I knew they’d be.

    1. Centennial Trail at Post Falls

    Arrowhead balsamroot is a gorgeous yellow daisy-like flower that springs up from large hairy leaves.

    You can find them all over the Inland Northwest, especially the Dishman Hills Conservancy and Mirabeau Point Park in the Spokane Valley.

    There is a little field of them in a particular spot off the Centennial Trail in Post Falls, though, and that’s where I took rescue puppy Daisy for her Paws of the Panhandle session.

    Rescue puppy in North Idaho wildflowers
    Daisy in the arrowhead balsamroot in Post Falls

    2. Balto Park in Dover

    Lupines! Yay, I found them.

    I grew up around lupines. My mom had them on our property in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. I can’t say that I loved them … I was too young and dumb to appreciate their beauty then.

    I really fell for them during a sunset trip to Steptoe Butte on the Palouse several years ago when I made this:

    lupines during sunset on the Palouse
    Lupines at Steptoe Butte

    When I found a little patch of lupines in the woods at Balto Park near Dover, Idaho, I squealed.

    I had back-to-back-to-back sessions there so I made sure to get at least two dogs chilling in the lupines.

    Meet senior pup Remington.

    senior chocolate Lab in lupines at Balto Park at Dover, Idaho
    Remi in the lupins at Balto Park

    And baby goldendoodle Enstein.

    goldendoodle puppy in north Idaho wildflowers
    Einstein enjoys the lupins at Balto Park

    3. Tubbs Hill

    McEuen Park is a happening spot in Coeur d’Alene these days.

    Once it hits May, tourist season begins and there’s barely any room to move. It is an incredible spot for North Idaho wildflowers, though.

    There’s always balsamroot. You can see Bella surrounded by them at the tippytop of this page.

    And here’s Maverick in gorgeous blue camas.

    corgi in wildflowers at Tubbs Hill in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
    Maverick at Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene

    4. Plantes Ferry

    This is where I really missed the mark this year.

    A client called, wanting to squeeze a regular Memories Session into my schedule.

    I couldn’t say no.

    I checked my calendar and compared it to when I knew the big field at the Islands Trailhead near Plantes Ferry in Spokane Valley would be awash in color.

    Hell, one week it’s all yellow and the next, awash in blue flax.

    Just like I got for these two Labrador retrievers last year.

    yellow Lab among yellow wildflowers at Plantes Ferry in Spokane Valley
    Yellow wildflowers at Plantes Ferry
    spokane dogs with blue flax at Plantes Ferry
    Two Labs in the blue flax at Plantes Ferry

    Not this year. We landed at the “perfect time” but there wasn’t a wildflower to be seen. Not even a lone lupine in the place where I know it always is.

    We made the best of it and played around in the Spokane River. Hopefully I can share those images with you soon!

    5. Steptoe Butte

    And now to Eastern Washington’s gorgeous landmark, Steptoe Butte, southwest of me in Spokane Valley.

    I waited until the end because I don’t have any fresh images.

    This was Bella, stubbornly giving me Adventure Dog Side-eye while she sits in the middle of some lupines. The rolling hills of the Palouse stretch out behind her.

    Maremma sheepdog sits with lupins at Steptoe Butte in Eastern Washington
    Bella and the lupines at Steptoe Butte

    I’ll definitely plan an evening trip for lupines next year. I kinda have to now, don’t I?


    Dogs. Adventure. Outdoors. These words set Angela's heart afire. Angela Schneider, an award-winning writer and dog photographer, documents the story of you and your dog and the adventures you take together. Your portraits will be a statement piece in your home, art that will make your friends and family beg to hear its story.

    3 thoughts on “5 epic locations for Spokane and North Idaho wildflowers in dog portraits”

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *