Flowing gracefully through the heart of Spokane is a mesmerizing waterway unlike any other. The Spokane River has been dazzling residents with its crystal-clear waters throughout the ages and has built up a multitude of activities and attractions for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. With its glistening waves, scenic landscapes and rich history, the Spokane River has become a cherished natural gem and centerpiece of the community, inviting individuals to immerse themselves in its beauty and enjoy a wide range of recreational pursuits. From thrilling adventures to tranquil escapes, there’s plenty to do and even more to discover as we journey along the banks of the Spokane River to explore the remarkable activities and attractions it offers.

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In addition to Flow Adventures, Wiley E. Waters Whitewater Rafting offers whitewater and scenic rafting trips on the Spokane and Clark Fork Rivers. Photo courtesy: Wiley E. Waters

Water Sports Galore on the Spokane River

The Spokane River is the perfect aquatic playground for outdoor enthusiasts seeking thrilling water sports. Kayaking and canoeing fans can navigate the river’s gentle currents, exploring its twists and turns while relishing the breathtaking views of surrounding forests and dramatic basalt cliffs. Whitewater rafting is a popular choice for those seeking a more adrenaline-pumping experience, allowing adventurers to conquer the river’s challenging rapids as they navigate their way downstream.

Those looking to experience the river’s rush can head to Flow Adventures on Euclid Avenue. Operating in winter and summer, they offer a wide range of recreational and training opportunities at different skill levels for those looking to get out and enjoy the water. Whether you’re looking to make adventurous memories with their Spokane River rafting, tubing, and kayaking trips and classes, they’ve got you covered, and they even offer same-day rentals for those in need of rafts, inflatable kayaks, paddleboards, tubes and more!

Of course, those looking to simply relax and unwind without the thrill of these water sports can always enjoy a nice float along the river as they kick back in whatever watercraft they choose and let the current be their guide to tranquility.  

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From camping to kayaking, rock climbing to mountain biking, lake swimming to fishing, the Spokane River offers it all and more. Photo courtesy: Visit Spokane

Riverside Parks and Trails on the Spokane River

The Spokane River offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor recreation through its numerous parks and trails that provide nature lovers and adventure seekers with a beautiful outdoor experience. Kendall Yards, Bowl and Pitcher Park, and Mirabeau Point Park are just a few of the spots offering these mesmerizing views.

Riverside State Park, encompassing over 9,000 acres of pristine wilderness, making it the largest state park in Washington and the biggest park with breathtaking views of the Spokane River, is a haven for hikers, mountain bikers, rock climbers, and horseback riders. With a diverse network of trails meandering through its picturesque landscapes, visitors can embark on memorable journeys, discover hidden waterfalls, encounter wildlife, and marvel at the stunning viewpoints overlooking the raging river below.

Pack a picnic for extra fun at any of these local parks and trails overlooking the river to have a tranquil meal by the water. Or better yet, spend the day exploring all the wilderness has to offer before heading down to the river to cool off. Either way, it’ll be a day filled with fun and picturesque scenery, so bring the camera!

Spokane Centennial Trail

One of the crown jewels along the banks of the Spokane River is the Centennial Trial. Stretching over 37 miles, this scenic trail winds along the river’s edge, connecting Spokane to the Idaho state line. Whether you prefer walking, jogging, or cycling, the Centennial Trail offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the river’s natural beauty while immersing yourself in the vibrant Spokane community. Along the way, you’ll encounter charming parks, public art installations and various amenities, making it an ideal destination for a leisurely stroll or an active workout.

The trail also provides several access points for water activities within the river. Along the course, you’ll find designated spots for launching kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, enabling easy entry into the river for those looking to swim and explore the water. These access points are strategically placed to provide safe and convenient entry and exit for water enthusiasts, enhancing the trail’s appeal as a gateway to river adventures.

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Drop a line because the water is always fine for fishing along the Spokane River. Photo courtesy: Silver Bow Fly Shop

Fishing Paradise on the Spokane River

The Spokane River is a haven for anglers, drawing fishing enthusiasts with its abundance of fish species that provide optimal fishing experiences. The river supports healthy trout populations, including rainbow and cutthroat trout and other warm-water fish. Depending on water temps, you’re more likely to reel in trout when the temps are cooler. Bass are more likely to be caught when the temperatures are warmer. Fishing is welcomed along all river spots, but three specific places prove optimal for reeling in the most catches — the lower part of Riverside State Park, the access point near Sullivan Street Bridge, and the Washington and Idaho state line.

Cast your line into its pristine waters, and you might reel in a prized catch. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner looking to learn the ropes, the Spokane River offers a tranquil and rewarding fishing experience. And if you’re feeling venturesome, don’t forget to try out fly-fishing, as it provides a unique and wonderful experience for all anglers to enjoy and possibly reel in the big ones!

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Hiking trails within Riverside State Park offer stunning views of the Spokane River, and if you feel the need to cool off, jump on in. Photo courtesy: Visit Spokane

Riverfront Park

Nestled along the banks of the Spokane River in downtown Spokane lies Riverfront Park, a beloved urban oasis that showcases the city’s vibrant spirit. The expansive park features a host of attractions for all ages, including the iconic Spokane Falls, where visitors can witness the awe-inspiring power of the river as it cascades through downtown Spokane.

Those looking to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the mighty river can do so with a leisurely gondola ride. The Numerica Skyride offers spectacular and accessible upfront sights of the majestic river and Spokane Falls. Spectators can enjoy a 15-minute, round-trip ride in an “all-weather” enclosed cabin, with the best view being in March through June when the water is raging.

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The Numerica Skyride is definitely a unique experience, offering a sky-high view of the Spokane River and Spokane Falls. Photo courtesy: lisa.rose.907/Visit Spokane

Historical Gems Along the Spokane River

As you explore the banks of the Spokane River, you’ll encounter fascinating historical landmarks that offer glimpses into the region’s past. For instance, the Monroe Street Dam, built in 1890, and the Upper Falls Power Plant, built in 1920, harnessed the river’s power so that they could, in return, power the city.

In addition, the Spokane House Interpretive Center, situated near the confluence of the Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers, provides insights into the area’s early fur trading post established by the British North West Company in 1810 along its banks. Those looking to learn more about the river and its role in the lives of the region’s first settlers can also visit the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, as it showcases the history and culture of the Spokane Valley region. These attractions offer a chance to delve into the rich heritage of the Spokane River and its significance to the community.  

The Spokane River has woven itself into the fabric of Spokane, becoming a cherished natural asset that provides a multitude of activities and attractions for everyone to enjoy. This captivating centerpiece continues to offer a plethora of activities and attractions along its picturesque banks to enjoy. There is something for everyone, from its thrilling whitewater adventures to peaceful walks along the trails with a view of its rushing waters. Whether you seek outdoor excitement, a connection with nature, or a leisurely day by the water, the Spokane River invites you to explore its wonders and create lasting memories along the shore in this remarkable Pacific Northwest gem.