If you’d like to get away for the day and go hiking, whether for an easy few miles, or a 55-mile trek, look no further, Riverside State Park Bowl & Pitcher has it all for you. If you’re local or even just visiting, your trip isn’t complete without this visit. It’s one to get the blood flowing and clear your chakra and mind for a sense of peace. If you have a best friend(s) like me, two four-legged companions, yorkie or American bulldog this trail is dog friendly. It’s a great hike for you and your fur family to get out on. Say hiking isn’t your thing or you just want to have a low-key day then you can have a picnic up top or down by the river.
Riverside State Park has so many recreational opportunities like hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, fishing, fly fishing, bird watching, wildlife, wildflowers, kayaking, and you can even get guided tours to do some whitewater rafting.
Bowl & Pitcher is connected to the Centennial Trail that runs into Idaho, it’s 37 miles long and you can hike, bike, or run along the trail in some areas you will run along the river and have so many great site seeing opportunities. During the winter and spring months we occasionally get greeted by some bald eagles that scout the river for the trout and salmon.
How To Get There
Riverside State Park is located in North Spokane, and runs along Highway 291 a main street called Francis Ave. You can get here from any direction, your main freeway exit would be Maple Street, which is a straight one-way road until you get to Francis Ave. and make a left at the light, once you turn left off of Francis Ave. to W. Rifle Club Rd./N. Aubrey L. White Parkway. You will follow this road all the way to the gate. The minute you turn on to the main road to the park you will see the Spokane River and follow it all the way to the main gate. There are two main ways to get there from I-90: 1) Maple St. exiting this route will take you through downtown via Downriver Dr. or 2) Maple St. to Francis Ave. Both of these maps can give you an idea on how to get there.
Things To Know Before You Go
Once you arrive at the park you may be greeted by the smell of campfire from campers at the campground located to the right of you. As you approach the park ranger post you then may be greeted by a park ranger at the window to make sure you have your Discover Pass. If you don’t you can buy a day pass for $11.50 or year pass for $35. If no one is available there is an automated machine to get your pass in the park.
Once you park and gather your stuff to start your hike you will hear the birds chirping, and the roaring sound of the Spokane River in the distance.
One of the main attractions, the swinging bridge/Suspension Bridge, is nearby.
Background On Bowl & Pitcher
Riverside State Park has a deep historical significance as a gathering place for Native American Tribes and as a thriving fur trade hub. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built many of the park’s structures during the Great Depression, which still stand today. The pedestrian suspension bridge at the park replaced a CCC bridge built in 1940. The dark rocks in the park are Columbia River Basalt (CRB) lava flows. These rocks are part of the Grande Ronde Basalt, one of the most voluminous of the CRB eruptions.
The Bowl & Pitcher area are hosts to whitewater rapids, one of which is known as the Devil's toenail, named after a basalt boulder in the middle stream. These class three rapids are for experienced paddlers only. Other visitors can enjoy the rapids from the suspension bridge.
The Bowl & Pitcher trailhead and its accompanying trails were named one of the best running areas in the U.S by Men’s Journal, ranked number 5 out of 15.
The Spokane River is 111 miles long and runs from Post Falls, Idaho to Fort Spokane, Washington, where it connects to the Columbia River.