With 76 regional lakes and dozens of rivers, there’s no shortage of beaches to explore when summer hits. In fact, with so much to choose from, the hardest part may be figuring out where to start. So here you go: your one-stop map and guide to swimming in the great Inland Northwest. See you at the beach!
Liberty Lake, WA - This 3.591-acre park is home to trails, camping, wetlands, picnic shelters…and, yes, Liberty Lake and its lovely swimming beach. Located half an hour from downtown Spokane and a few minutes from the Spokane Valley, it’s a pretty short jaunt to this park and well worth the trip.
Spokane Valley, WA - Cruise around Spokane Valley and you might never know that there’s wonderful swimming holes on the Spokane River right at your fingertips. Boulder Beach, located across from Camp Sekani, next to the Centennial Trail, is a favorite spot for locals to take a dip.
Coeur d'Alene, ID - This beach is one the most popular in the Inland Northwest. The sprawling shoreline along Lake Coeur d'Alene allows visitors to spread out and enjoy themselves. Tubbs Hill, located right next door, offers a beautiful peninsula hike, where the more adventurous will find a number of cliff jumping opportunities. Creature comforts aren’t far away either. Coeur d’Alene’s terrific dining and shopping lie just across the street.
Cheney, WA - Just 20 minutes from downtown Spokane, this swimming spot makes the list for its convenience. Sweet and simple, this small lake features a nice sand beach. Plus motor boats are prohibited so advanced swimmers can do laps without worry.
Farragut State Park, ID - An hour northeast of Spokane, visitors will find Beaver Bay Beach at the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille. The beach looks onto the pine covered mountains of Farragut State Park and provides a true taste of North Idaho’s rugged outdoors. Warning: this lake is chilly, so you may want to wait for July and August to take a swim.
Hayden, ID - While Lake Coeur d’Alene gets the bulk of the attention, nearby you’ll find another swimming area: Hayden Lake’s Honeysuckle Beach. Here, visitors can enjoy a sandy beach along with a dock-protected water area complete with swimming lanes.
Post Falls, ID - This swimming beach sits on a bay along the Spokane River. The horseshoe-shaped shoreline is ideal for beach lounging and shields the current for swimming. Q’emlin Park features pavilions, picnic areas, barbecue grills and a 40-acre trail system.
Lake Roosevelt, WA - Largely known for its history museum and camping, Fort Spokane is also home to a great swimming beach. It’s a bit of a trek to get there (just over an hour from Spokane), but once you make it, there’s no shortage of activities. You’ll find a preserved military fort, hiking, picnic shelters and barbeques. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with lounging on the beach all day either!