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Spokane Parks

The near nature lifestyle of Spokane has prompted us to create great parks and spend time enjoying them. Visitors will find a wide variety of experiences from hiking, biking and picnicking to colorful flower extravaganzas and near city natural respites.

Riverfront Park

The Spokane River cascading through the heart of downtown Spokane is the city's most unique asset. Riverfront Park, a lush 100 acres, provides an urban greenscape that gives credence to defining our city as Spokane, near nature, near perfect.

Well used and tremendously loved, the park is where Spokane strolls, listens to concerts, enjoys picnics, gathers for events and watches the city light up at dusk. Enjoy our park as we do and be sure to see the sights.

  • Spectacular views of river falls and rock channels
  • Giant screen Imax Theater
  • Gondola rides over the falls
  • 1909 National Historic Carousel
  • Outdoor winter ice skating
  • Spokane's landmark Clock Tower
  • Giant Red Wagon children's play sculpture
  • Famous Riverfront Park Runner's sculpture
  • "Garbage eating" metal goat
  • Lilac Bowl event meadow
  • Cable Pavilion housing fun rides

For more information on individual park features (click)

The Spokane River Centennial Trail

The Spokane Centennial Trail is one of Spokane’s outdoor highlights! Any time of day any day of the week, people enjoy the paved trail that stretches from the Idaho border 37 miles downstream to Nine Mile Falls, northwest of the city.

The trail offers something for everyone. Walk or run, bike or skate, ride horseback in designated areas, or simply sit and enjoy the natural beauty of the river. Need to feel the water? Launch a canoe, kayak a little whitewater or just dangle your toes from an accommodating rock. For information and maps of the trail go to the following sites:

Manito Park

Manito Park has a feel and spirit all of its own. In fact “Manito” means “Spirit of Nature” in the local native language. Spokane loves its parks, visits them often and appreciates the near nature lifestyle they provide us. Manito is one of Spokane’s most enjoyed parks for strolling, picnicking and appreciating the greens and flowers. The “green thumbs” of Manito keep the flower beds immaculate, the greenhouse overflowing, the swans fed and the perfume of roses in the air. No wonder every year thousands of visitors to the Inland Northwest visit this 90 acre park and enjoy its beauty and natural attractions.

The gardens at Manito, at 18th and Grand on Spokane's South Hill, are at their brilliant peak during the summer but offer a respite from the busy world in any season. The park is one of only a few in the nation with such a diverse horticultural display. If you like gardens, flowers and plants, don’t miss Manito Park.

Hours: 4:00 AM to 11:00 PM in the summer and 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM winter.
Admission: FREE!
Location: see regional map for location just south of the main downtown (click)

You can expect to find:

  • Gaiser Conservatory -contains large tropical plants and beautiful flowering displays. These displays are arranged to provide a colorful show of flowers during all seasons of the year and are open to the public free of charge.
  • Duncan Garden - just south of the conservatory, is a classical European Renaissance style garden comprising three acres and highlighted by a large granite fountain.
  • Joel E. Ferris Perennial Garden - just north of the conservatory, is on a gentle sloping green with a fine example of the variety of textures, colors, and flowers that are provided by perennial plants.
  • Rose Hill - features over 1,500 bushes and 150 varieties of roses. As an 'All American Rose Selections' test garden, Rose Hill has become one of the primary horticultural attractions in the Spokane region
  • Nishinomiya Japanese Garden - symbolizes the friendship of Spokane, Washington, for its sister city, Nishinomiya, Japan. A classic Japanese style garden, it provides a peaceful respite and is a Spokane favorite.
  • Lilac Garden – showcases the flower that makes Spokane the “Lilac City”.
  • Picnic Shelter – offers a shady place for lunch or a quick retreat from lunch in the rain due to one of our very infrequent but still formable thunder storms!
  • Duck Pond – every great park has a pond where feeding the ducks is a memory etched in every child’s mind. Bring some bread and treat both the ducks and your kids.
  • Park Bench Cafe – a delightful little café in the park where lunch is served.
  • Upper Manito Playground
Finch Arboretum

Spokane's Finch Arboretum is a 65 acre tree wonderland. Just minutes southwest of downtown, the site is an extensive botanical and tree garden with more than 2,000 labeled ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowers. Garden Springs Creek runs along it and several walking paths run through it.

Spring time brings a riot of color from the 65 different groupings of lilacs to the extraordinary colors of azaleas and rhododendrons in little Corey Glen. Shady summer nature paths wind through the foliage and fall brings yet another color extravaganza. Other year round highlights include a rhododendron glen, a conifer section, and an extensive collection of maple trees.
Started in 1949 with 49 specimens comprising 10 genera and 23 species, the Arboretum now contains 2,000 labeled trees and shrubs representing over 600 species. A near nature experience for the tree lover!

Location: West 3404 Woodlawn Blvd. Just southwest of town off of Sunset Blvd. See regional map (click)
Admission: Free!

Spokane River Park Areas

The Spokane River itself offers many opportunities to hike, bike, picnic and take a dip in the cool waters (summertime only!)

Bowl & Pitcher in Riverside State Park

A popular Spokane River site for picnicking, hiking and river watching. The geological phenomenon of lava rock eroded by water creates the appearance of a giant pitcher just ready to pour. Someone misplaced the bowl but we’re sure it will turn up by the time you get there!

A swinging bridge crosses the Spokane River and is a highlight for young and old alike. Standing above the rushing water offers a natural thrill and during spring run off, a chill of spray besides!

This is the most scenic natural attraction along the Spokane River. A great place to picnic and hike the miles of trails leading north and south along the river. Camping is also offered here. For information (click)

For more information on the whole park see the River Side State park site (click)

Spokane Gorge
“Nothing is so firmly impressed on the mind of the visitor to Spokane… as the great gorge into which the river falls near the center of the city."
- Olmsted Report, 1908

Cities grown and change but our river still flows through the center of town and right under the Monroe Street Bridge creates one of the largest urban waterfalls in the United States! A proposed new River Gorge Park is in the making that will feature white water kayaking, picnic areas, close water trails and one of the biggest natural “water features” in the nation. More info and great river pictures (click)

Be sure to view the falls from several viewing areas on either side of Monroe Street.

Plantes Ferry Park

Located east of town in the Spokane Valley, Plantes Ferry is a popular sports complex for soccer teams, baseball leagues and cross country events. For the visitor it offers a nice picnic area and access to a small beach in a shallow bend of the river. Right on the river bank, look for the life sized statue of pioneer Antoine Plante, known for ferrying people across this point of the river.

Sullivan Landing

Another popular river valley park offers picnic areas and access to a stretch of boulder strewn river bank (steep trail to waters edge). A popular park for sports teams after some hard fought soccer games at Plantes Ferry fields!

Life vests are recommended on all stretches of the Spokane River and required on the river between the Idaho State line and Plantes Ferry (you don’t want that $77 fine!).

For more information on Spokane Parks see the Spokane Parks and Recreation web site (click)