Located approximately nine miles from Spokane, in Eastern Washington, Riverside State Park is one of the most historic and natural parks in North America. The park is spread across 10,000 acres along the Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers, offering visitors a wide variety of recreational activities including mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, and hiking.
The park was once home to the ancient Spokane tribe and visitors get to see ruins of the old Spokane house built by David Thompson in 1810. The Bowl and Pitcher area is the most popular part of the Park, with the swinging bridge carrying hikers to the west side of the Spokane River. The Centennial Trail and Nine-mile Recreational area are also hotspots in peak season.
The Park has a unique collection of animals, making wildlife viewing one of the most rewarding activities available to visitors. Wildlife enthusiasts can see ospreys nesting along Spokane River, and bald eagles and Cooper's hawks also patrol these parts of the park. White-tailed deer, Foxes, and otters are also some of the wildlife you will spot while exploring the park.
RV campers will have a great time at Riverside, with easily accessible routes for RVs, comfortable RV campsites and over 60 miles of trail for recreational activities. Riverside is an amazing blend of historic culture and outdoor activities, making it a prime destination for RV campers.
RV Rentals in Riverside State Park
Transportation in Riverside State Park
Riverside State Park is easily accessible for RV users as well as other vehicles. Located a few miles off Interstate-90, the park's main entrance is just two miles from the Bowl and Pitcher area and smoothly paved roads take you to all four campgrounds in the park. There are no particular RV or trailer restrictions within the park, meaning you can access most parts of the park on four wheels. As expected, some places can only be accessed by foot, as some parts of the park especially along the Spokane River are only open to hikers.
There is a 600-acre off-road vehicle area west of Spokane for bikers, ATV and other four-wheelers. This area also serves as a link for bikers and ATV riders between the Spokane area and the Bowl and Pitcher area which are just seven miles apart. All four campgrounds are spread out across the park, ensuring a campground is just a few miles drive or hike away no matter where visitors are.
RV parking spaces are available throughout the park. There is a general parking lot for vehicles close to the entrance, with parking spaces also located at trail heads where hikers can park their vehicles before setting out on foot. Campers can also park their vehicles at any of the park's 4 campgrounds.
Campgrounds and parking in Riverside State Park
Campsites in Riverside State Park
Bowl and Pitcher Campground
The Bowl and Pitcher area is the most visited part of the park, making the campground there the most frequented in Riverside. The Bowl and Pitcher Campground has 16 RV sites with full access to water and electricity, as well as a trailer dump site and a kitchen shelter. The kitchen has access to electricity and water, with a stove and eight picnic tables accommodating up to 60 people.
There is a store just outside the campground with snacks, ice, wood and other basic supplies. The Spokane river is also nearby where campers can go birding or fishing. The popular swinging bridge is also near the campground, taking visitors from the campground to the west side of the Spokane River. Due to the popularity of the Bowl and Pitcher area, the campground remains full for most of the year, so reservations should be made a few months prior to arrival.
Nine Mile Recreation Area Campground
About 20 minutes north of Bowl and Pitcher is the Nine Mile Recreation Area. The Nine Mile Campground, located in Nine mile falls, has three tent sites and 21 RV sites with electricity and water hookups. There is a bathhouse and a dump station at the campground and each site has picnic tables.
The campground is located in a quiet setting, with a beach just behind the campground where visitors can swim and fish. Residents can rent kayaks and swimming equipment at the camp store before heading to the beach. Paved bike trails run through the campground, leading straight to the Bowl and Pitcher Area as well as other parts of the Park. Nine Mile Campground is only open during in-season, (May - September).
Lake Spokane Campground
The Lake Spokane Campground sits atop a bluff with the river visible on all four sides of the campground. It has 11 primitive tent and RV campsites with electricity and water hookups. The sites are located in a forest setting with a few miles of trail for hiking. A drive down the bluff gives you easy access to the water and the Lake Spokane boat launch.
Visitors can go fishing and boating at the Lake and there are four boat-in campsites located near the lake (first come, first served). A trip down to the lake also gives visitors a chance to see otters, geese, and ospreys. Just like the Nine Mile Recreation Area , the Lake Spokane Campground is only open during in-season.
For visitors coming to Riverside with their horses, the equestrian campground has 10 campsites, each with a corral. The corrals are neat and comfortable, ensuring your horse stays safe and warm at all times. The equestrian campground is an easy launch point to many of the park's most popular horseback trails.
The campground is open to anyone, not just horse owners only and hikers often camp here as it gives them easy access to some of the park's most scenic trails. It's also a reliable backup if the Bowl and Pitcher campground is full and you want to stay the night close to the Bowl and Pitcher area.
Seasonal activities in Riverside State Park
Riverside State Park offers a variety of options to bikers, with 50 miles of trail available to two-wheel lovers. Riders can go as easy or as hardcore as they please, from the smoothly paved Centennial Trail to more diverse riding options like the single tracks along the Spokane River.
You can go mountain biking along the great Spokane area. You can also test your skills with other riders at the 600-acre off-road vehicle area or attend the park's annual 24-hour biking relay race on memorial day weekend.
Riverside is a prime destination for water recreation in Washington. The park has three major water recreation areas and 120 feet of dock. The Spokane River can be accessed through various points across the park, with the river running through the main areas of the park.
The lower parts of Spokane River flows into Nine Mile Dam which is a swimming hotspot in Riverside. Nine Mile flows the slowest of the three water areas and is the safest for amateur boaters and swimmers. Visitors can also go boat riding or swimming at Long Lake, with kayaking and fishing also popular in these parts of the park.
Horseback riding is another popular sporting activity at Riverside. There is an equestrian area at the south end of the park, a few miles west of the Spokane River which links to all trails available to riders.
There are trails for all levels of riding expertise. Some of the park's easier trails are located toward the south end of the park. Riders seeking a sterner challenge can ride along the Deep Creek Trail at the northern part of the park. The horseback trails are interwoven and run through or by just about every area of Riverside.
Winter sports enthusiast can enjoy Riverside in the winter with a variety of recreational activities. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available to visitors, as well as dog sledding.
Park rangers have snow sport equipment available for rent at the various trailheads and the ORV area. The off-road vehicle area sees the biggest changes during this time of the year, as t-shirts and bikes give way to jackets and snowmobiles and the dirt roads are completely covered by snow. Winter is a wonderful time at Riverside and with the crowd trouble of the in-season months gone, it might be the best time to enjoy everything the park has to offer.
Some of Washington's oldest and most historical buildings can be found in Spokane, and most of them sit within the park. Riverside's location used to be home to the ancient Spokane tribe and visitors can see some of the old farm buildings from the 1800s.
One of the oldest buildings in Spokane and indeed in Washington, is the log hay shed in the Great Spokane area. Visitors can also see the 200-year old ruins of the Spokane house built by David Thompson.
Spokane is home to some of Washington's rarest bird and mammal species, some of which have resided in the park since the days of the Spokane tribe, and visitors get to see them in their natural habitat.
A boat ride through the Little Spokane River will bring visitors within feet of ruffed geese, wild turkeys, and otters. Ospreys also nest along the river and eagle-eyed visitors might spot beavers and squirrels along the river banks. Deer, moose, and bald eagles can also be seen across the park.