Sports and Recreation

Summertime is play time in the Inland Northwest

click to enlarge Sports and Recreation
Young Kwak photo
A select few have moves like Ribby.

It is summer and things are happening outside. Sports, activities and recreational opportunities have people up, active and moving around. The best part is, you can join in on the fun, too.


A night at the ballpark is hard to beat, especially with Avista Stadium's scenic mountain backdrop. Though, it's made even better when the home team is scoring runs and winning games, and as of this writing that's what the Spokane Indians have been doing over the first two months of this season. They're near the top of the Northwest League in wins and are far and away its highest scoring team, averaging over five runs per game. You've got 35 chances left to catch the team in action from June 16 onward before the final home game of the season on Sept. 4. Check the schedule at


The South Hill Bluff is a natural treasure in the middle of the city and a popular spot for outdoor recreation. Hikers and mountain bikers enjoy the trails that run along, and zig-zag up and down, the steep slope. Walkers and road bikers take in the views from the parkway atop the crest. There's a lot more to the bluff than just the recreational opportunities and sweeping vistas, though.

Friends of the Bluff, a nonprofit group that cares for the area, puts on organized, educational walks along the bluff. Jerry White from Spokane Riverkeeper will be leading two walks this month on the topic of the fish and health of Hangman Creek, the first on June 16 and the second on June 21.

Video versions of previous walks are available on the Friends of the Bluff website, allowing people to learn about the geology, plants, history, wildlife and creek on their own time. Bluff walks are free to attend, but limited to 15 participants, so make sure to register with Friends of the Bluff at

click to enlarge Sports and Recreation
Erick Doxey photo
The long-awaited return of Hoopfest is finally here in 2022.


The world's largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament is set to take over downtown Spokane the weekend of June 25-26, after an absence of more than 1,000 days (2019 was the last time it happened). Kids, grandparents, recreational players and accomplished pros alike will take to the streets to hoop across more than 40 blocks in the city center. Between the basketball, the people-watching and the community spirit, Hoopfest 2022 is set to be the biggest celebration in, and of, Spokane since the start of the pandemic. Visit for all the details.


If you've ever wanted to watch a throng of humans swim for 1.2 miles, then bike for 56 miles before capping the whole thing off with a 13.1-mile run, IRONMAN CDA is for you. Triathletes from around the world will converge on the silver waters of Lake Coeur d'Alene and the forested slopes that surround it on June 26 for the annual race. Spectators can cheer on participants from along the 70.3-mile course, which the most elite competitors can complete in under nine hours. Visit for details.


Are you yearning, for once, to taste sweet victory with your next backyard burger? Cornhole victory, of course. Consider Spokane Parks and Recreation's five-week summer cornhole league, where you'll get a chance to hone your skills playing up to six matches per week. Those who are already masters of the bags can sign up for the competitive league and compete against our region's lawn game greats. Registration is $60 for a two-to-three person team, and is open through July 8 at


Imagine golf, but not snooty, not expensive, and with real nature instead of exceedingly manicured greens. Oh yeah, and a disc instead of a ball. That's disc golf, and it fits perfectly into the ethos, and environment, of the Inland Northwest. Eastern Washington and North Idaho are home to 16 public, full-length courses, plus a number of private ones as well. Some are walking distance from downtown while others are deep in the woods, meaning your next disc golf excursion could be a quick hour on a weekday or an entire trip over a weekend.


Not particularly interested in hanging on for dear life to a giant rock that's been baking in 100-degree sun all day long, but still looking to climb to the top of something just for fun? Wild Walls in downtown Spokane offers classes for beginners and is a popular spot for experienced climbers as well. Bloc Yard Bouldering Gym on the north side, as the name suggests, caters to boulderers, those who prefer to climb without a rope. Find them at and


Summer is filled with tons of satisfying little moments. Among the most satisfying of all is the sound of a fresh can of tennis balls being opened and the smell of the pressurized air as it whizzes out. If you've never experienced that, it alone is reason enough to grab some gear and head to a local tennis court. Another reason is that tennis is an ideal summer activity for our climate. The fuzzy balls don't like the rain, which is rarely a problem around here this time of year. A gentle rally might break a light sweat under the pounding midday sun, while an uptempo match in the morning can serve as a phenomenal workout before the oppressive heat rolls in.


There are many games that one can step in and start playing without much, if any, experience — for example, every activity listed above. Golf, however, is different. Hitting a bucket of balls at the driving range is one thing, but making it 18 holes takes skill, and practice. Fortunately, there are lessons. Spokane Parks and Recreation offers lessons from golf professionals at each of the city's four public courses. Take a few lessons, then spend your summer on the links.


No, it's not thought of as a summer sport, but the first three college football Saturdays of the season come before the official start of autumn. So, summer sport it is. Our region's four teams will play six home games before summer's end, including a big regional battle when Washington State hosts Idaho on Sept. 3. EWU's home opener is also Sept. 3, while Whitworth waits a week to get going on Sept. 10. ♦

The Farm Chicks Vintage & Handmade Fair @ Spokane County Fair & Expo Center

Sat., June 3, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun., June 4, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
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