You’re all caught up on laundry, your spring cleaning is done, and you’ve already binge-watched The Office for the hundredth time, now what? While you await Spokane's stunning summer weather, get out of the house with a scenic drive near Spokane. I’ve come up with five scenic drives that’ll give you a much-needed change of scenery.
Palouse to Oakesdale
The Palouse, one of the most productive agricultural areas in the country, is easily one of the most scenic drives near Spokane. Just southeast of downtown, you'll discover miles of rolling hills and farmland. As you drive through the Palouse fields, you'll come across small towns, old barns, and flour mills. During the spring, enjoy the green color of the hills that surround your drive. As an easy starting point, begin your journey from downtown and head southeast on the Palouse Highway. Once you hit Valleyford, you'll turn onto Highway 27, which will take you through small towns like Freeman, Rockford, Waverly, Latah, Fairbanks, and finally, Oakesdale. Stretch your legs in Oakesdale to admire historic buildings and maybe even snag a quick photo at the Barron Flour Mill there. If you want to extend your day trip, I recommend taking the long way home on Highway 195. This way you can make another stop at Steptoe Butte State Park, a national monument with panoramic views of the Palouse.
Latah Valley to Duncan
Just beyond the South Hill of Spokane, lies Latah Valley. If you’re a golfer, you’ve probably driven out this way before for a challenging day on the links at Latah Creek. For the most scenic route, head south on Highway 195 from downtown Spokane, take a left on Hatch Road, and then a right onto Hangman Valley Road. Hangman Valley Road follows beautiful Latah Creek through a valley of open spaces and elegant country homes. This isn't necessarily a secret route but, it won't pull up initially on Google maps. Trust me, this is the prettiest route. Continue your country drive onto Valley Chapel Road. You could stay on Valley Chapel Road to Rockford. For a shorter drive, you can get back onto Highway 195 by way of Spangle Creek Road.
Spokane Valley to Green Bluff
Whether you're planning to stop through Green Bluff and pick seasonal produce or enjoy a beer at Big Barn, a drive around this community of small family farms is the perfect day trip from Spokane. While fall is the peak season for Green Bluff, there's still plenty to experience during the spring and summer. From wine and mead tasting to U-pick flowers, cherries, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, apples, and more, you won't be short on activities regardless of the season. Take some time to reminisce whilst you enjoy this farmers' paradise.
Little Spokane River to Nine Mile Falls
You’ll find Nine Mile Falls along the Spokane River, between the Little Spokane River Natural Area and Riverside State Park. This area boasts of its stunning surroundings on the banks of the river. What was once a raging waterfall gave Nine Mile Falls its name. Now, with the damming projects upstream, the waterfall is no longer what it used to be, but the gorgeous scenery still awaits onlookers. A slew of backroads awaits you across the river. Get lost for a little while amongst miles and miles of country roads and farmland. It’s the perfect little escape.
Spokane to Mt Spokane
Spokane to Mt Spokane Map
About an hour north of downtown Spokane, Mt Spokane is known as one of the best outdoor recreation areas in the region. That's no surprise since Mt. Spokane is home to the largest State Park in Washington. As spring skiing begins to close, Mt Spokane makes for the perfect scenic drive into the mountains. Weather permitting, you’ll enjoy endless views of mountains, lakes, and landscapes as you make the winding drive to the base of the ski resort.