With improved access sites and convenient shuttles, getting to the region's waterways is easy; first, be safe!

click to enlarge With improved access sites and convenient shuttles, getting to the region's waterways is easy; first, be safe!
Young Kwak photo
Enjoy the Spokane River by raft, canoe, kayak and more!

It's impossible to talk about Spokane and not mention the glorious river running right through the city.

Throughout history, the river has provided. For the Indigenous peoples that called — and still call — Spokane home, the river gave salmon as nourishment. In 1894, the Upriver Dam began providing hydroelectric power to the city. Its power generation is still used today to help deliver water to more than 210,000 people in the Spokane community. And, last but not least, the Spokane River provides a splashin' good time for water recreation enthusiasts of all types each summer.

The first rule of summer is to be safe, so make sure to check water flows and levels before heading to the river (or any regional body of water). Avista updates Spokane River information daily at myavista.com/waterflow. There, you can see if the water is at a low, normal or high level and can gauge whether or not it's safe to splash around.

For those looking for swimming, fishing and boating areas along the Spokane River, spokanewatertrail.org has an interactive map that helps narrow down locations based on amenities. From there, click on a preferred location to view water levels and other safety information.

The most important thing to remember when entering a body of water is your life jacket. The Spokane River Forum, in partnership with Washington State Parks, is placing life jackets at 10 Spokane River Water Trail access points: Stateline, Harvard Road, Barker Road, Mirabeau Park, Islands Trailhead, Boulder Beach, Division Street Bridge, Redband Park, People's Park and TJ Meenach.

"The idea is simple," says Andy Dunau, executive director of the Spokane River Forum. "If you're about to get in the water but forgot a life jacket, borrow one from the kiosk. The Forum's only ask is to please return when done. Wearing a life jacket saves lives." (MADISON PEARSON)


If you've ever found yourself wanting to enjoy the refreshing waters of the Little Spokane River but transporting your gear and finding parking seems like a daunting task, the Little Spokane River Shuttle is your answer. Run by Spokane Parks and Recreation, the shuttles go between the 9-Mile takeout and the St. George's put-in. Parking is limited and fills quickly at both locations, so taking the shuttle is a stress-free way to ensure a fun weekend for families or groups. Register beforehand online, or pay on-site with a credit or debit card (no cash is accepted) to secure your spot and get to kayaking, paddleboarding or canoeing in the river. (MADI OSWALT)

Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-4 pm through Sept. 1 • Pickup at the 9-Mile takeout • $15 (Discover Pass required to park) • my.spokanecity.org/recreation/outdoor/river-shuttle

click to enlarge With improved access sites and convenient shuttles, getting to the region's waterways is easy; first, be safe!
Spokane Parks & Rec photo
The Downriver Park put-in is back open after a long construction project.


The City of Spokane reopened the Downriver Park River Access point near TJ Meenach Drive in late April after a year-and-a-half-long closure. The access point closed in September 2022 due to the Cochran Downriver Stormwater Management Facilities project, designed to protect the Spokane River from contaminated stormwater runoff. Newly built retention ponds now collect runoff water so harmful chemicals and other pollutants can be removed before reaching the river.

On the recreational side, improvements include a renovated nonmotorized watercraft access area, expanded parking with a new paved lot and increased trailer space, an information kiosk, improved trail access, and a natural habitat area.

Also closed during construction, the Downriver Disc Golf Course is back open, too. Along with a new name, the Whitewater Disc Golf Course, the disc golf community can expect added amenities like permanent tee signs and a new tee pad for hole 18 in the coming months. (FOPE SERIKI)


Tucked away on Loon Lake, north of Deer Park on Highway 395, is a quaint, family-run lake spot for lake lovers of all ages. Standing since 1921, the beloved resort was in need of upgrades to its on-site store and restaurant. The updated store reopened July 1, complete with a jukebox and classic video games.

"For the first time, we will have a deck," says Jonathan Brown, Granite Point's manager. "You can sit and eat and look right out at the lake."

Brown hopes the deck will soon beopen to visitors. Aside from the newly added features, lake-goers can still take advantage of existing amenities like kayaking, canoeing or boating, whether they bring their own equipment or rent on site. If you're one for picnics, guests are also invited to bring food and drink to the resort. Have some fun in the sun, Loon Lake is calling! (MO) ♦

Open daily • 41000 Granite Point Road, Loon Lake • granitepointresort.com


If you're a thrill seeker or just looking for someone else to handle logistics and equipment, check out these local companies that run guided adventures on the region's plentiful lakes and rivers.


Wiley E. Waters offers scenic and whitewater rafting trips on the Spokane River. Your guide will teach essential techniques, provide equipment and then navigate the group through Riverside State Park on an inflatable raft. Choose between the whitewater trip, the scenic float or a wine-and-dine option. riverrafting.net


This regional company offers whitewater, scenic and wine tours, as well as Geocaching tours where guests raft to various locations while searching for hidden caches, plus bird-watching and team-building tours. pangaeariverrafting.com


Explore the Spokane and Clark Fork rivers with whitewater rafting tours, scenic tours, guided fishing experiences and combination trips through Coeur d'Alene Adventures. Many of the adventures include stops to cliff dive, hike and relax along the way. cdaadventures.com


Take a whitewater rafting or fishing trip on either the Lochsa, Clark Fork, Spokane, Moyie or St. Joe River with a group of six or more of your fearless friends. rowadventurecenter.com


Choose from a variety of water activities including rafting, tubing and kayaking. FLOW Adventures offers leisurely and whitewater rafting tours along with multiday Salmon River tours. Tube rentals are available through FLOW for those looking to kick their feet up and float the river. flow-adventures.com


Disability Pride Celebration @ Riverfront Park

Sat., July 27, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
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Madison Pearson

Madison Pearson is the Inlander's Listings Editor, managing the calendar of events and covering everything from local mascots to mid-century modern home preservation for the Arts & Culture section of the paper. She joined the staff in 2022 after completing a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Washington...