SPOvid-19 Local Adventure: Paddling the Little Spokane River

To help you make the most of your outdoor time and keep things fresh during the pandemic, the faculty of Eastern Washington University’s Recreation and Leisure Services Program in partnership with Out There Outdoors has created the SPOvid-19 Local Adventure Series.

Episode 7 – Paddling Little Spokane

By Chris Hoppe, Director EWU EPIC Adventures 

Summer time for many Spokanites means sunny days on the river. This week’s Spovid-19 adventure explores the Little Spokane River, from St. George’s School to the “9 mile” takeout. This relaxing paddle will bring you back to nature, as there are regular sightings of deer, moose, muskrat, and a wide variety of birds. 

Be thoughtful with setting up a shuttle. It is recommended to travel in vehicles only with people in your household, or within your small circle of trusted friends. Don’t forget to display your Discover Pass, as the parking lots are maintained by Washington State Parks. (See map of the Little Spokane River Natural Area, from Spokane County Parks and Recreation.)

Mid-day traffic during the weekend can get pretty busy on the river. Try a weekday paddle, or be an early riser on the weekend to have the river to yourself. Most trips down the Little Spokane River can range from 2-3 hours, so you will want to pack some water and a snack (please pack out all your garbage).

River levels can change from season to season, so check the conditions before you put on. We hope this adventure motivates you to explore more areas found in Spokane’s “Back Yard.”

Video by Chris Hoppe


  • Riverside State Park – boating: Because the Little Spokane River Natural Area is a protected area only non-motorized, paddling watercraft are permitted (e.g. kayaks, canoes, rafts). Inner tubes, swimming, and pets are not allowed. 
  • Paddling gear rentals: In Spokane, rental gear is available from FLOW Adventures and REI.

SAFETY: Please wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while operating any watercraft on moving water (river), as required for all ages according to Spokane County law (boating ordinance code 06.03.020).

Editor’s Note: During past summers, Spokane Parks & Recreation have offered a weekend shuttle service for paddlers on the Little Spokane River. Due to the current pandemic and staffing impacts of COVID-19, the service was cancelled for 2020.

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