Looking for a place to get away from the big city hustle and bustle without really leaving the city? Riverside State Park is just 20 minutes away from Spokane, Washington, and offers both locals and visitors alike a place to reconnect with nature in 9,000 acres of space. Years before flocks of outdoor enthusiasts began coming to the park, the area was an important spot for gathering and commerce -- first by Native American tribes and later by fur traders. Decades later, during the 1930s and the Great Depression, the beginnings of a state park were starting to take form. With the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Riverside State Park was transformed into the nature hub that we know and love today.
Many of the original CCC structures remain to this day, but the main draw of Riverside State Park is its outdoor recreation offerings. No matter what time of year you visit, you will find a plethora of activities that the whole family will love. From rock climbing and mountain biking to fishing and boating, you won't be bored when you park the campervan here for a night or two.
There are three RV-friendly campgrounds available at Riverside State Park, and whether you're looking for a primitive site or one that offers full hookups, you'll be able to find what you're searching for. If you're visiting for a just few hours or a few nights, you'll be glad you parked the travel trailer at Riverside State Park.
Located just miles from central Spokane in northeast Washington, Riverside State Park is an RVer's paradise. The park can be accessed off of major routes like US-2 and WA-291, making it easy for even the largest of rigs to reach the park. The roads in and around the park are well maintained, though a few sharp turns and steep inclines may be present along the way -- those with large vehicles should drive these roads with appropriate caution.
If you're visiting during the winter months, it's a good idea to check the local forecast and road conditions before setting out, as snow may affect the smaller routes in and around the park.
The campgrounds are spread throughout the park, so depending on where you are camping, you may want to enter the park from either the south or the east. There is not an overabundance of parking available at the park, but lots can be found near the Ranger Station and off of Carlson Road in the north of the park, and at various trailheads and OHV riding areas in the south of the park. Those staying overnight will have their own private parking spot at their campsite but may want to bring a passenger vehicle along to get around the park.
Located on the far northwest side of off WA-209, Lake Spokane Campground is the smallest of the three, with just 11 primitive style sites. No hookups are offered, so this is the perfect campground for those who don't mind roughing it for a night or two.
This campground is a bit further from the other areas of the park, but overnight guests will find the campground quiet and the sites to be quite spacious, with the maximum length allowance averaging around 50 feet. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring, and bathrooms with showers and a boat launching area are also located nearby. If you need a dump station, head to either the Bowl and Pitcher Campground or the Nine Mile Recreation Area.
Due to its proximity to the water, it's easy to enjoy recreational activities like fishing and boating at this campground. Pets are also welcome so long as they are kept leashed. Lake Spokane Campground is open from April through October, and reservations can be made online in advance.
The Nine Mile Recreation Area Campground is equipped with four full hookup sites, 17 partial hookup sites, and three tent-only sites for those who are interested in sleeping under the stars. The campground is located in the north of the park, just off of Charles Road. This campground is best for those with small RVs, as the average site length is around 35 feet. Overnight guests will find a picnic table and fire ring at each site, along with a dump station, restrooms with showers, and a boat launch located nearby.
These sites are situated lakeside, making it easy to enjoy activities like fishing and boating. Visitors will also find various hiking trails crossing through the area. The campground is pet-friendly and remains open from April through October. Reservations are recommended and can be made online in advance.
Of the three campgrounds available at Riverside State Park, Bowl and Pitcher Campground is the largest. Located in the south of the park off of Audrey L White Parkway, the campground offers 16 standard sites and 16 sites with electric and water hookups. Maximum length allowances vary by site, and those with large rigs will want to make a reservation well in advance. Each site at Bowl and Pitcher is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring, and a dump station and restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers can be found nearby.
There are also two group camping areas located at the campground: one able to accommodate 40 tent campers and the other able to accommodate up to 60.
Guests will have access to the day-use area, and some sites are located right next to the Little Spokane River -- making it easy to fish, boat, or simply enjoy the view. Pets are welcome so long as they are kept leashed.
Around half of the sites at this campground remain open year-round, while the remaining sites are available from April through October. Reservations are available (and recommended) and can be made online in advance.
The Spokane KOA is perfectly situated to explore the nature and city amenities that this area has to offer. Spacious sites are planted throughout the fully landscaped park with site options including premium patio, extra-large and pull-through, which include cable television and Wi-Fi. Enjoy the outdoor heated pool, rent turbo bikes, and shop for gifts and supplies in the camp store. Kids are sure to enjoy the playground and pups will love their very own Kamp K-9 dog park. Family activities include fireside summer socials and movie nights. Enjoy Spokane by biking or hiking Centennial Trail or exploring the city’s attractions including lots of fine dining, shopping, and area wineries. Laundry facilities are on-site and the bathrooms feature private hot showers.
Those looking to get out of the motorhome for a night or two can rent one of two cabins available at Riverside State Park. These small, cozy cabins are equipped with modern conveniences like electricity and indoor plumbing. During the colder months, the cabins are heated, but no air conditioning is available. Overnight guests will find a queen size futon, a bunk bed able to sleep three, a microwave, and a bathroom in each cabin. Other amenities include two parking spaces, a picnic table, and a fire ring.
Guests should bring plenty of warm blankets and dress in layers, as the cabins can get cold even though they are heated. One cabin is pet-friendly (a small additional fee applies), while the other is ADA-accessible. The cabins are open year-round, and reservations can be made online in advance.
If all the sites are occupied at Riverside State Park, you won't have to go far to find a place to park the teardrop for the night. There are plenty of private RV parks in the surrounding area, along with a few other state parks within driving distance.
North Spokane RV Campground is a favorite in the Spokane area and is located just 20 minutes from Riverside. The campground offers top-notch facilities like full hookups, Wi-Fi and cable television, a seasonal swimming pool, and even a dog park for your four-legged friends.
Mount Spokane State Park sits about 45 minutes to the northeast of the park, and you'll be treated to scenic forest views for most of the way there. Beware of sharp turns and steep inclines on your way up to the park -- it is on a mountain after all. Mount Spokane is ideal for smaller rigs, as the maximum site length is just 30 feet. Overnight guests will find just eight primitive sites -- perfect for reconnecting with mother nature.
After you've spent a day riding the trails, you and your horse can rest easy at the Equestrian Campground located in the south of the park. The campground is located just south of the Bowl and Pitcher area and is equipped with 21 campsites with corrals. These sites are available to those camping with horses only. There are no hookups available, but each site is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring. There is also a restroom located in the campground, equipped with flush toilets and hot showers. If you need a dump station during your stay, head to either the Nine Mile Recreation Area or the nearby Bowl and Pitcher Campground.
There are numerous horse riding trails around the campground, and there's even an obstacle course and pen available for training. Additional parking can also be found inside of the campground area. The Equestrian Campground is open from April through October, and reservations can be made online in advance.
There's no bad time to visit Riverside State Park, and once snow rolls over the landscape, winter sports enthusiasts flock to the park to enjoy some of their favorite activities. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are all popular pastimes, along with ice fishing, snow biking, and good old fashioned snowball fights. However, you choose to enjoy the winter weather, be sure to bundle up and dress in layers, as winters in northern Washington can get cold.
Anglers hoping to reel in a keeper during their RV vacation will have plenty of shoreline to cast out on at Riverside State Park. There are nearly 200,000 feet of shoreline along the Little Spokane River, and Lake Spokane presents even more opportunities for you to reel in the big one. Common catches at the park include smallmouth bass, kokanee, rainbow trout, yellow perch, and walleye. Be sure to obtain a Washington fishing license before dropping a line.
If relaxing is more your style while vacationing, then hunker down at one of the many picnicking areas available in the park and enjoy a scenic lunch. If you're camping with a group or hosting an event, there are various picnic shelters available for rent. Some offer top-notch amenities like electricity, wood stoves, and running water, while others are more basic. If you're staying overnight, you can always enjoy a quiet picnic right outside the pop-up at your campsite. Bon appetite!
With over 55 miles of hiking trails carving their way through Riverside State Park, you won't want to forget to pack the hiking boots along in the T@B. The trails range in length and difficulty, so whether you're a novice or a well-seasoned hiker, you'll be able to find a trail that suits you. There's even a full mile of ADA-accessible trail.
One of the most traveled treks in the park is the Interpretive Trail, which will take you from the Indian Painted Rocks to the Little Spokane River. You'll be treated to scenic nature views, and if you're lucky, you may see some of the park's full-time residents. To beat the crowds, take to the trails during the off-season.
As the name suggests, Riverside State Park is, in fact, riverside. Those looking to spend a day on the Little Spokane River can do so in a variety of ways, including rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. The park is equipped with three boat launches, and if you didn't tow your own watercraft along behind the Sprinter, seasonal rentals are available at the Nine Mile Recreation Area at the north end of the park. The river can be dangerous in some sections, so be sure to talk with a park ranger before dipping your paddles in the water.
One of the more unique activities offered at Riverside State Park is rock climbing -- and you'll have a beautiful spot to do it in if you choose to partake. Big basalt rocks make for some of the best climbing in the area, though many of the routes are challenging and not recommended for beginners. Climbers of all skill levels will be able to find a route that suits them though, even the kiddos. If you prefer to brush up on your climbing skills before chalking up, there are various climbing gyms located in the nearby Spokane. There are two main climbing areas in the park: Deep Creek and The Pit. Both are known to have loose rock from time to time, so climb with extreme caution and if you can, with a buddy.
If you brought your horses along on your RV vacation to Riverside State Park, you'll have plenty to keep both of you busy. There are over 25 miles of trails available for horseback riding, and if you didn't wander all the trails in one day, there is an equestrian campground with 21 sites and corrals available. You and your horse can also take advantage of the on-site obstacle course located near the campground. Happy riding!
Those looking to shred the trails via bicycle will have over 55 miles of trails to work with when they park the Airstream at Riverside State Park. You'll find trails of all types here, from easy-going road riding to more hardcore dips and berms. If you're up for a real challenge, take on the 40-mile Spokane River Cenntenial State Park Trail that will lead you all the way across the Idaho border. Even if you're not looking to break a sweat during your stay, biking is a great way to get around the park without deconstructing your camp.