Riverside State Park
You’d think a park as vast as Riverside State Park would be a trek. You thought wrong. Located just nine miles northwest of downtown Spokane, there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast. The 40-mile long, paved Centennial Trail starts here. Follow it to the end, and you’ll end up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The park has hiking and biking trails, horse trails complete with an obstacle course, and a 60-foot round pen, plus it is ORV friendly. For the water enthusiasts, the Little Spokane River provides an excellent spot for SUP, boating, fishing, and swimming. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention there are plenty of campsites so your outdoor adventures can last more than just one day. Riverside State Park is awaiting your next visit to Spokane.
Quick Links to Park Areas:
Bowl and Pitcher
Bowl and Pitcher is one of the more popular entrances to Riverside State Park, namely because of the picturesque suspension bridge that will take 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. Continuing onto Trail 211 the path will head off to the left. The trail will continue upward but, for this loop, you’ll continue onto Trail 25 alongside the river. This will take 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 are welcome on the trail with a leash.
Bowl and Pitcher also features a campground with 16 standard tent campsites and 16 RV partial hookup sites with electricity and water. There is a kitchen shelter with electricity and water that is made purely of logs. Inside you can enjoy the woodstove and a variety of picnic tables to post up for lunch. With two picnic shelters, you can spend an afternoon in the park alongside the river.
Nine Mile Recreation Area
Toward the north end of the park, Nine Mile Recreation Area is home to a variety of outdoor opportunities. Rock climbers will glean over the large basalt rocks in Deep Creek. 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 comes to 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 canoes or 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 will put you into the calm Little Spokane River for a leisurely paddle. From there, you can get out at Indian Painted Rocks.
A portion of the Centennial Trail runs through a large part of Riverside State Park but the trail culminates at Lake Spokane. At Lake Spokane, boaters, anglers, and water sports fans are invited to enjoy the great outdoors in a variety of ways. If you’re looking to camp 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 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, but you can take your pick of the four boat-in camping areas around Lake Spokane for a unique summer campout.
Spokane River Centennial State Park Trail
The Centennial Trail boasts a 40-mile-long paved trail that spans 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.
Equestrian & ORV Areas
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 four 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 cultures, namely the Spokane Tribe 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 Civilian Conservation Corps (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 & 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.