Spokane River -
This area is about 6 miles
northwest of Spokane and is managed as a joint project
between the Spokane County Parks and Riverside State Park.
The navigate-able portion of
Little Spokane River is approximately 7.3 miles long
within a 1,993 acre natural area next to Rutter Parkway. This river is
pretty much the same as it looked hundreds of years ago when the Native
Americans used it for hunting and fishing.
Other popular activities
here include kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. The river is typically slow moving with
a max river depth of about 40-60 feet at its deepest points. It is
recommended that when paddling this river one stays in the middle as
there are many areas where branches, etc. hang just above the water
(called sweepers) and can potentially sweep you off your craft. This is particularly
important during spring run off when the river is much swifter and
than during spring run off or during flash floods the river is slow
moving but can still be dangerous especially during the colder times of
Doing a paddle trip on this
river is either an easy 3.5 mile or 7 mile paddle depending where you
put in at. The unique freshwater marsh you will be passing through is
home to a wide variety of wildlife such as moose, deer, elk, otter,
muskrat, beaver, songbirds, woodpeckers, raptors, and waterfowl.
This marsh is important as Great Blue Heron rookeryn within tall
cottonwoods by the riverbanks.
When on a paddling trip
here, you know you are coming to the end when you pass
under a bridge then see some rapids for the first time. Just before these
rapids, to your left is the take out site. One could paddle through the
rapids and follow the river down until it intersects with the Spokane
River; then paddle up the Spokane River to the paved boat launch (this
part of the Spokane River is considered part of Lake Spokane). The paved
boat launch is just a short distance down the road from the Little
Spokane River Take-Out-site. I don't try to paddle up the Spokane River to the boat launch
during spring run off or
high water times of the year because the Spokane River can be near impossible
to paddle up during this time.
Fishing limits and
restrictions apply as specified by current fish and game regulations. In
addition, park rules don't allow fishing from the banks so one can only
fish from a non-motorized water craft such as a kayak, drift boat
(without electric motor), canoe, or raft. No part of your body is allowed
to be in the water so using float tubs with fins is not allowed. Fish
species that make this river their home include salmon, trout, carp,
catfish, bass, and perch.
Little Spokane River
swimming or any part of ones body can be in the water. No air
mattresses or inner-tubes are allowed. Canoes, kayaks, and rafts
motorized craft are allowed.
No alcoholic beverages
disturbing the wildlife!
fishing from shore. Fishing allowed from non-motorized craft
Littering! Pack it
in, Pack it Out.
9. No hunting.
10. No Camp fires.
11. No horses.
12. No bicycles.
13. No off road
Wear your personal floatation
device at all times.
15. All Persons regardless of Age SHALL wear a Personal
Floatation Devices (PFD) while on moving water! Moving water
shall be the Little Spokane River and Spokane River from the
Washington/Idaho State Line to the Centennial Trail Bridge at
Plants Ferry Park and the City of West Spokane west to the Nine
Miles Public Public Launch. Per Spokane County Ordinance
6.03.020. If you do not know where these sections of the
river are just wear a PFD while on any part of the river, which
is a good safe practice regardless.
Park Rangers (www.riversidestatepark.org)
about any issue that may
affect the park and safety of visitors.
Visit River Side
State Park for all info related to this river such as closures,
sweepers, river flow, etc.
CLICK HERE FOR A
Little Spokane River/Directions: From I-90 at
Spokane, WA take the Division Street exit and drive north
across the bridge and up the hill to Francis Ave. Turn left at
Francis Ave. and follow it west until it ends and turns into
Highway 291. Follow State Route 291 North past Rutter Parkway
Road and Nine Mile Falls.
A mile past Rutter Parkway Road is the turn off for the
take-out-site area on N. Shoemaker Ln. (there will be a boat
launch sign). Follow this road until you come to the park near a
creek with rapids; this is the place. This take-out-site is
before you get to the Spokane River paved boat launch area.
Leave a car here and go back to Rutter Parkway Road. Follow Rutter Parkway Road east until it intersects Indian Trail
Road, then turn left (north) onto this road. The first put-in
site is just over the bridge. The second put-in site is past the next bridge up W St. Georges Road.
Directions & Info: The
site is via the parking lot just after you cross the bridge.
The portage trail to the river is out the back of the
parking lot (If you start to drive up the hill after the bridge you've
gone too far). There is an outhouse with some informative signs
at this parking area. When launching from here it is about a 3.5
mile trip down the river to the take-out-site near the Spokane
Directions & Info: The
2nd and last put-in-site is after the next
bridge. As you come to this bridge the road changes
names to Waikiki Road. After the bridge, turn right/west onto W St.
Georges Road. Before the end of this road where the school is
located you will see a sign and gravel road to the Little
Spokane River put-in-site. The access site to the river is well defined and wide. There are restrooms and info signs
here with no running water. Its about a 7 mile trip down the
river to the take-out-site near the Spokane River.
Caution: This river is often called a slow moving river. This is true in the summer,
but during spring run off the river can move quite rapidly. Caution should be observed anytime
you are on a river or stream. Be especially cautious during spring run off
when rivers are much more swift and new fallen tress can block
the river; low branches can sweep you off your craft (called
sweepers), and cold water also presents potential danger.