If you are planning to come in the summer you will need sunscreen. Even though most people think Spokane would be like Seattle (rainy, cold), this is untrue for the summer months. The temperatures will be in the high 80s, 90s, and sometimes 100s.
Dishman Hills Natural Area
Dishman Hills is a beautiful wildlife preservation located in the Spokane Valley area. It covers a very large area and has many wonderful hiking trails that can give you many different views of the Spokane area. Great place for back packers, hikers, and out door enthusiasts. It has two ponds with lots of wildlife around them, deep forest thickets, and rough mountain areas.
Spokane Falls is the final fall of several in Riverfront Park alone and claims to be 80 feet (24 m) tall, but I think that may be including the dam. The falls were at one point a very important fishing point for the Spokane Indians and was a vital part of their culture. The successive damming of the Spokane and Columbia Rivers has completely stopped the salmon runs up these rivers.
The waterfall itself is quite impressive though. Its volume stays fairly respectable year round but is highest in spring and winter it has recorded volumes as high as 49,000 cubic feet / sec (1,388 cubic meters / sec) but typically is less than 10,000 cfs. The built environment around the falls has greatly reduced the scenic beauty that this location once had. These roads and viewpoints make it possible, however, to see the falls from many different locations including a gondola which runs on a cable over the falls.
Riverfront Park--The SkyRide
The SkyRide is a 15 minute ride in an enclosed gondola "cabin." Each of the 15 cabins is ADA compliant and can hold 6 passengers. The cabin windows open for clear photos.
The ride travels past the art deco City Hall, then gradually drops down 200 feet over the Huntington Park Natural Area. From there, it goes across the Spokane River, under the historic Monroe Street bridge and then returns to Riverfront Park. The best views are March through June, when the water is high.
The SkyRide is open daily March through October, and weekends and holidays November through February.
Ticket Fees: Adults - $7.25
Teens 13 - 17, Seniors, Military w/ I.D. - $6.25
Children 3 - 12 - $4.00
Children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
A Jewel in the West
"Where I was Born"
This area of Washington state is very beautiful. This may just be my loyalty to a place I once lived in and spent my formative years exploring, but I don't think so.
There are so many lakes and green places here, without the constant rain of Seattle (I am not knocking Seattle, love it there...but you have to admit, they get a hell of a lot of rain.). Spokane is about a six hour dive from Seattle, inland, nearly on the Idaho border.
We did not grow up in a very nice neighborhood, but I loved where we lived. Only three houses away from Underhill Park. When I was young they had a park program that supplied lunches for the local children and a couple of camp counselors to keep an eye on us as we played in the summers. What was great was the counselors had what was called The Shack, which held a supply of basketballs, ping-pong paddles, slipping slides, and outdoor games for the kids. They also had a summer softball league which competed with other parks in Spokane. Not sure this is still happening, but it is one of my fondest memories of girlhood.
When I was 12, we moved to the very small farm town of Deer Park, WA.
"Lakes & Parks"
Spokane is centered around Riverfront Park, which runs along side the Spokane River. One of my favorite childhood pasttimes was riding the Looff Carousel and trying to capture the gold ring to win a free ride. In the summers at the Paviallian in the park there is a small amusement park with kiddie rides (I do mean small). There is also a geat IMAX theatre.
My mom used to take us for picnics in Manito Park, which is on the South Hill. Thay have beautiful rose gardens, and a Japanese garden as well. On my most recent visit we returned to this spot and it still holds a lot of charm.
Most of my favorite childhood memoreis are filled with fun times at Newman Lake, where my grandparents have a house.
Bear Lake was also fun for my 13th birthday on the beach. Where me and my friends thought we were scandalous listening to George Micheal's, "I Want Your Sex."
Lake Coure d Alane, in Idaho and only 20 minutes from Spokane was fun for fishing trips too. This is an adorable little town with some cute shops and a very scenic drive around the lake. If you have the time it is well worth a visit.