Spokane Hiking & Biking
The beauty of Spokane is that you don't need to drive hours to go for a beautiful hike or mountain bike ride. Many outdoor recreation areas can be reached from Spokane by car in…
You’d think a park as vast as Riverside State Park would be hours from the city. You thought wrong. Located just nine miles northwest of downtown Spokane, there’s something in this park for every kind of outdoor enthusiast. The 40-mile long, paved Centennial Trail starts here. Follow it to the end, and you’ll be in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The park has hiking, biking, and horse trails, complete with an obstacle course and a 60-foot round pen for the horses, plus it is ORV friendly. For water sports enthusiasts, the Little Spokane River provides excellent opportunities for SUP, boating, fishing, and swimming. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention there are plenty of campsites so your outdoor adventure can last more than just one day. Riverside State Park awaits you on your next visit to Spokane.
55 miles of hiking trails
One mile of ADA-accessible hiking trail
25 miles of horse trails
600 acres of ORV special terrain
Discovery Pass required
Bowl and Pitcher is one of the more popular entrances to Riverside State Park, namely because of the picturesque suspension bridge that carries you safely over the roaring Spokane River. Across the bridge, you can head out on the Bowl and Pitcher Loop Trail by taking a right onto Trail 25, which continues alongside the river and eventually takes you back to your starting point at the suspension bridge. This heavily trafficked 2-mile loop trail frames the Spokane river and is good for any skill level. Dogs with a leash are welcome on the trail.
Bowl and Pitcher also features a campground with 16 standard tent campsites and 16 partial hookup RV sites with electricity and water. There are also two picnic shelters and 30 unsheltered picnic tables, allowing you to spend the entire afternoon in the park alongside the river. Bowl and Pitcher also has a log-cabin style kitchen shelter with both electricity and water. Inside the kitchen shelter, you can enjoy the wood stove, sink, and 6 picnic tables.
Toward the north end of the park, you'll find Nine Mile Recreation Area, which offers a variety of outdoor activiities such as rock climbing. Climbers delight over the large basalt rocks in Deep Creek, whereas avid hikers flock to the Knothead Valley Loop for a beautiful view of Nine Mile and the Little Spokane River. The Knothead Valley Loop and Indian Painted Rock Loop is a 6.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail that is home to stunning wildflowers in the summer months. This hike is rated as moderate. In the winter, this trail is a perfect snowshoe route. Before you head out, don’t forget to stop at the Nine Mile Falls overlook. Here, the Spokane River arrives at a dam that ultimately feeds Lake Spokane.
If you’re looking to extend your stay in Spokane, you can make camp in the Nine Mile Recreation Area. The campground has three tent sites and 21 RV sites. The area also features a boat launch and swimming area on Lake Spokane. Didn’t bring your canoe or kayak? Not to worry, you can rent both canoes and kayaks at the Nine Mile Recreation Area from May 15 to September 15.
If you’re geared up and looking for the best put-in spot, look no further than Nine Mile. St. George’s put-in allows access into the calm Little Spokane River for a leisurely paddle. From there, you can get out of the river at Indian Painted Rocks.
A portion of the Centennial Trail runs through Riverside State Park, but the trail culminates at Lake Spokane. At Lake Spokane, boaters, anglers, and water sports fans can enjoy the thrill of the great outdoors in a variety of ways. If you’re looking to camp there this summer, Lake Spokane’s campground has 11 primitive sites that can also accommodate RVs. Make it a day trip and hang out under one of the ten picnic shelters. Bring your fishing pole to fish off the boat launch dock. Or bring your swimsuit and a towel to catch some sun rays. If you’ve got a boat, we’re all a little jealous of you. You can take your pick of the four boat-in camping areas around Lake Spokane for a unique summer campout.
The Centennial Trail boasts a 40-mile-long paved trail that runs between the Washington-Idaho state line and the Nine Mile Recreation Area. Thirteen miles of the trail is situated in Riverside State Park between Spokane Falls Community College and the Nine Mile Falls Recreation Area. To learn more about the Centennial Trail click the button below.
At the Equestrian Area, horse lovers will find a horse-friendly campground and an obstacle course with a 60-foot round pen. With 25 miles of horse-friendly trails, you and your trusty steed can take off exploring for hours. There are several main trailheads that support equestrian use and allow room for horse trailer parking. These trails include Pine Bluff Trailhead, Marchand Trailhead, McLellan Trailhead, Carlson Trailhead, and Deep Creek Trailhead.
If off-roading is more your style, the ORV area has 600 acres of special terrain for you thrill-seekers. Plus, you’ll find a dedicated area for beginner and training riders. In the winter, this area is prime for a day of snowmobiling.
A Discover Pass is required for day visits to state parks and other state-managed recreation areas. The pass allows access to millions of acres of parks, wildlife areas, trails, and water-access sites. You can purchase a Discover Pass online by phone or in person.
For details visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov or call (866) 320-9933. We greatly appreciate the continued support of Washington State’s beautiful recreation lands.
Riverside State Park was established in 1933 in an effort to save the land from further development. The area is known as a major gathering site for Native American tribes, including the Spokane and other local tribes. The Spokane House Interpretive Center at Nine Mile Falls focuses on the history of the early fur trade and its effects on the Native American population. The center is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm Memorial Day until Labor Day. In addition, an interpretive trail in Riverside State Park features guideposts and a self-guided brochure that connects the Indian Painted Rocks area with the mouth of the Little Spokane River.
At the Seven Mile camp, a kiosk will tell the story of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and their role in building the park. The CCC made its mark on the state park between 1933 and 1936 as they made several improvements to the park. In fact, the suspension bridge at Bowl and Pitcher was built by the CCC. Today visitors to the park enjoy many of the amenities implemented by the CCC. These improvements include over 10,000 acres for camping, fishing, boating, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, kayaking, tubing, swimming, snowmobiling, and mountain biking.