5 Adventurous Spots to Explore in Spokane, Washington

Introducing guest blogger Emily from Spokane Outside

Explore My City - Spokane

The city of Spokane’s logo is “Near Nature, Near Perfect” and we couldn’t agree more! Sitting on the eastern side of Washington State, the city is surrounded by countless opportunities to get outside with the whole family. From floating the river that cuts through town, exploring the Columbia Basin to the south, and the Selkirk Mountains to the north, there’s always something new to see!

Spokane is located 4 hours east of Seattle to the west and just 30 minutes from the Idaho border to the east. It sits just at the foothills of the amazing Selkirk and Rocky Mountains, making it an amazing hub for outdoor adventures. This makes for an excellent weekend trip from Seattle, for families who love a good dose of fresh air and nature!

If you fancy a visit to Spokane, Washington, we’re going to share the most popular outdoor activities to do in Spokane right here!

This post is part of our Explore My City series – come and visit cities around the world through the eyes of locals


Weather in Spokane, Washington and What To Pack For A Trip to Spokane

Spokane, Washington is located in the Pacific Northwest, but don’t let that title fool you into thinking there are dark clouds and rain! Spokane has an arid climate, with much drier weather than its sister, Seattle, on the west coast. You will find that summers bring hot and dry weather, and winters bring brisk and biting cold. With such fluctuation in temperatures, you can expect to have the truest of all four seasons, making this a really fun place to visit year-round!

1. Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park is an urban oasis, right in the center of downtown Spokane. It was first established as a railroad yard and stayed that way for more than 60 years. Once Spokane received the opportunity to host the 1974 World’s Fair, the city decided to develop this area into a beautiful park to improve downtown and provide convenient fairgrounds for the events.

Canva - White and Blue Ceramic Carousel Figurine
Image credit Canva

Today, the city has continued to invest in the area, and now there are gorgeous features fit for the whole family to enjoy. Ride the historic carousel that sits along the river, ride the gondola next to Spokane Falls, and skate the new downtown ice ribbon for skating. Visitors can also waltz through the parks many mature trees, and enjoy a summer day with a picnic on the lawn.

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2.The Centennial Trail

The Centennial Trail is a 40-mile recreational path that’s used for walkers, runners, and non-motorized vehicles. You can choose to walk a piece of it, or all of it, depending on what kind of adventure you’d like to take.

Canva - Bike in Forest path
Image Credit Canva

Many outdoor lovers will ride their bikes the entire length, from Riverside State Park all the way to the Washington/Idaho Border. You can also choose to walk the popular 1/2-mile section in Kendall Yards. Take the whole family for gorgeous views of downtown Spokane and the river, and make your turnaround point at Hello Sugar, a local coffee and donut shop!

3. Palouse Falls State Park

Palouse Falls State Park is an excellent day trip option from Spokane, Washington. Just a few hours drive southwest of town, you will arrive at Washington’s State Waterfall, Palouse Falls. Here, you can go camping, hiking on the many trails around the bluff, and test your photography skills!

Palouse-Falls-Spokane-Outside-Emily-Mandagie

This area is most famous for its sunrises and sunsets, as the sky often lights up with beautiful colors that wash over the high-desert landscape.

4. Riverside State Park

Riverside State Park is one of the largest and most popular parks to visit in the city. There are many areas to explore within the park but the most popular spot is the Bowl and Pitcher area. Here, there is a campground, a large suspension bridge, and many hiking trails along the Spokane River.

Riverside-State-Park-Spokane-Outside-Emily-Mandagie

It’s a popular spot to take family photos too, so you’ll often see a photographer and families out there in nice weather! If you are a climber, don’t forget to stop by the Deep Creek Area, which has some world-class climbing routes!

5. Exploring Hikes at Mount Spokane State Park

In the winter season, Mount Spokane is the closest ski resort to the city of Spokane, Washington. However, Mount Spokane State Park doesn’t just offer great skiing, there are year-round opportunities, including camping, hiking, and huckleberry picking! Some popular hikes at Mount Spokane include Mount Kit Carson Trail (5.4-miles out and back), Quartz Mountain Fire Lookout (4.5-miles roundtrip), and the Mount Spokane Summit.

In the summertime, you can drive to the top of the mountain to visit the historic Vista House. If you are lucky enough to have a local friend, they might share their favorite secret spots to pick wild huckleberries that grow on the mountain!

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About the Blogger

Emily Mandagie is the founder and author of Spokane Outside, an outdoor resource for adventurous visitors and locals. Follow @SpokaneOutside on Instagram and Facebook for more outdoor inspiration!

With thanks to Emily for her contribution to our guest series.  You may also like to read about Seattle with Kids, or journey around San Francisco and the Bay Area on these family day trips. 


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