From the best places to ski in Spokane to its best hiking areas, here's what locals voted as their favorite spots in the city for sports and recreation in the Inlander's 2022 'Best Of' Readers Poll.
Best Disc Golf Course in Spokane
1st PLACE: DOWNRIVER DISC GOLF COURSE
The Downriver Disc Golf Course might be daunting for beginners. The diverse terrain makes for a challenging round for sure, but it’s pretty tough to beat the scene, between the towering trees and killer Spokane River views. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Camp Sekani Jamboree
This course was designed by lead developer and disc golfing expert Jeff Crum, who created one of the most fun disc golf courses in Spokane. The course features 18 holes weaving through a variety of terrain, from streams to forests, to holes hidden amongst boulders, there is a little bit of everything here. Some may describe this particular disc course as challenging, so be sure to bring your a-game on your first visit here! (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: High Bridge Disc Golf Course
High Bridge disc golf course is located on over 200 acres of public park, located near Latah Valley in Spokane, WA. The course features 18 holes and is open daily. With Latah Creek running through the scenic park, many water features, bridges, trees and more are found on this amazing disc course. (Visit Spokane)
Spokane's Best Dog Park
1st PLACE: SOUTH HILL DOG PARK
The South Hill Dog Park might win this category in the future, but it won’t be the same spot our readers have long loved for its wide-open spaces and shady spots, making it an ideal playground for ol’ Fido. A new middle school is coming, and while that entails construction on the 15-acre site, the city is researching a new location for a South Hill off-leash park, so the dogs will have their day in the sun again. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: SpokAnimal Dog Park at High Bridge
In 2010 a 3-year contract between the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department and SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. created Spokane's first dog park within city limits, the SpokAnimal Dog Park at High Bridge. With separate fenced areas for large and small dogs, it is a welcoming place for furry friends of any size. You can find this wonderful dog park just off Riverside Ave in High Bridge Park. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Valley Mission Dog Park
In 2018, a portion of Valley Mission Park was sectioned off to create Spokane Valley's first official dog park, Valley Mission. The dog park is now a hit for four-legged friends in the area, featuring moderately sized off-leash areas and water fountains, as well as separate areas for small and large dogs. Valley Mission is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, but does require all pet owners to be at least 16 years old and have a leash on hand at all times. (Visit Spokane)
The Best Hiking Areas in Spokane
1st PLACE: DISHMAN HILLS, INCLUDING ILLER CREEK AND ROCKS OF SHARON
With hiking trails crisscrossing more than 3,200 acres of public land from the floor of the Spokane Valley to the top of one of the Selkirk Range’s southernmost peaks, the Dishman Hills bring the beauty of the Inland Northwest’s natural environment directly into the city, and that’s by design.
“Our goal is to preserve in perpetuity,” says Isobel Smith, outreach director at the Dishman Hills Conservancy. “Our first goal is to outright purchase the land so that in 100 years or 200 years the land won’t be developed, it will still be there for [the] public and wildlife.”
The Dishman Hills Conservancy helps manage and preserve three distinct areas of public land, with the Dishman Hills Natural Area at its northern end; from Glenrose east to Phillips Creek across its midsection; and along Iller Creek to the Rocks of Sharon in the south.
In the natural area, hikers can meander around massive granite outcroppings. Glenrose and Phillips Creek provide sweeping prairie vistas and open skies. More adventurous hikers can follow Iller Creek along the forested eastern slopes of Tower Mountain up to the Rocks of Sharon, where even more massive granite monoliths stand atop the ridge and look out across the vast Palouse.
“Spokane is really unique in that it has a lot of different ecosystems,” Smith says.
The Dishman Hills are a contrast, where many of those ecosystems exist in their natural state while surrounded by urban sprawl that the conservancy has been working to halt on its land for more than half a century. That precarious position, with development fencing it in on three sides, is also part of its charm. It’s deep in nature, but at the same time it’s right here.
“What I love about the Dishman Hills is that you can get to any trailhead within a 20-minute drive from wherever you live in Spokane,” Smith says. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Liberty Lake Loop
Discover the waterfall that flows perfectly in the spring months about halfway up this amazing loop trail. Liberty Lake Loop is a counterclockwise route featuring a steep grade for the first mile, which eventually flattens out and gets easier. Over the course of the 8-mile loop you will gain a total of 1,200 feet of elevation, making it a moderately difficult trail suited for intermediate to expert hikers. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Mount Spokane State Park
Mount Spokane State Park is massive at over13,900 acres, with numerous hiking trails weaving through the beautiful landscapes here. The summit of Mt. Spokane reaches 5,883 feet and has panoramic scenic views of the entire region. With more than 100 miles of trails to hike on your next outdoor excursion, this state park is undoubtedly one of the best hiking areas in all of Spokane. (Visit Spokane)
Best Ski Area in Spokane
1st PLACE: SCHWEITZER
Incredible views, tons of terrain, fun tree skiing and all the extra amenities one could ask for an apres-ski experience — it’s no wonder our readers love to head to the mountain above Sandpoint for a ski day or weekend. There are hills for all levels, so everyone in the family can get in on the fun. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park
Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park is located 28 miles from downtown Spokane, featuring over 1,700 acres of skiing accessed by 6 different lifts. With its close proximity to downtown Spokane and amazing ski terrain and features, Mt. Spokane is a local favorite for days out on the slopes or weekend getaways. If you plan to visit Spokane during the winter months, be sure to add this unbeatable mountain to your itinerary! (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Silver Mountain Resort
The snow-capped mountains of Northern Idaho feature one of its best ski areas, Silver Mountain Ski and Snowboard Resort. The mountain has some of the best ski slopes less than an hour from downtown Spokane, which also features the longest gondola in the US. You can ride to the top of the slopes in style and while taking into the expansive panoramic views of this winter wonderland. (Visit Spokane)
Best Place To Snowboard in Spokane
1st PLACE: MT. SPOKANE SKI & SNOWBOARD PARK
The terrain park at Mt. Spokane makes it a perennial favorite among Inlander-reading snowboarders. As the snow flies and accumulates over winter, the jumps, rails and other features come together to make boarding a blast. And if you’re just into riding through fluffy new powder elsewhere on the mountain, this mountain has plenty of room to play. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Schweitzer
A short 45-minute drive from Coeur d’Alene, Schweitzer Mountain is one of Spokane's closest world-class snowboarding areas. Schweitzer is the largest resort in the state of Idaho and is often considered its best snowboard park. With almost 3,000 acres of rideable terrain and only an hour downtown Spokane, this mountain is one of the most popular mountains for snowboarders in Eastern Washington. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort
About an hour north of Spokane off Hwy 395 sits 49 Degrees North, Washington State's 2nd largest ski resort and one of its best snowboarding areas! Located in the beautiful Colville National Forest. the majestic views from the top of the peaks here are only matched by the mountains superb snow quality. With 5-chair lifts and one surface lift, you can explore this vast mountain without breaking a sweat. (Visit Spokane)
Best Outdoor Rec Supplies
1st PLACE: REI
Look, when it comes to grabbing high-quality outdoor gear, everybody knows where to go: corner of Boone and Monroe. You can’t miss the big red brick building. Summiting Mount Rainier? Kicking back in front of a campfire? Looking for a new pair of pants for the office? This place has everything. Plus, take advantage of REI’s regular outdoors classes (currently all digital) and its regular members-only garage sales. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Rambleraven Gear Trader
Rambleraven Gear Trader is Spokane’s favorite spot for new and used quality outdoor gear. The store is a local hot spot for outdoor enthusiasts to buy, sell & trade gear. With a full-service bike shop, ski shop and more, Ramblehaven has everything you need for any outdoor activity. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Spokane Alpine Haus
Since 1976 the Spokane Alpine Haus has been providing hikers, bikers, skiers and more get the latest gear to dominate their selected sport. As one of the oldest gear suppliers in the Inland Northwest, the experts here are the most knowledgeable around and can help you find the perfect gear that fits your lifestyle perfectly. If you're heading into the Spokane backcountry, there is no one who will help you get there better than the Alpine Haus. (Visit Spokane)