15 Day Trips From Spokane For Unique Outdoor Trips

Spokane is one of the largest cities in Washington state and also one of the loveliest. Located along the Spokane River, the city lies at a crossroads in the region, with the border of Idaho to the east, Canada less than one hundred miles to the north.

The city is an important business and commerce center and there are a plethora of day trip options nearby like Mount Spokane and the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

Let us explore some of the best day trips from Spokane which you can take with your friends and family.

Hiawatha Trail, Washington

Hiawatha Trail

Hiawatha Trail also known as Route of the Hiawatha is a 15-mile hiking and mountain biking trail located near the city of Avery, Idaho. This bike path is also known as “the crown jewel of rail-to-trail adventures”.

There are 10 train tunnels and seven bridges, so visitors can truly experience the historic railroad. The route also traverses the Milwaukee Road, which is commonly considered to be one of the American West’s most scenic railroad route stretches.

The trail is a downhill one which makes it a great option for all ages. When you complete the trail you can stay at the lovely skiing lodge at Lookout Pass, which showcases delicious restaurants and luxurious amenities.

Distance: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Ideal for: Hikers

Win Tur Bison Farm, Washington

Win Tur Bison Farm

Bison once roamed freely in the Great American Plains and overhunting led to the decline in their population. To keep their population from extinction, a couple moved their small herd of nine bison from Wisconsin to Springdale in December 2012.

They have been running their agrotourism business ever since, where they are trying to make a difference by breeding these unique animals on their farmland. 

Visitors can go to the farm and can see a short informational presentation on the history of the farm, bison facts, a Q&A, and of course, an opportunity to meet and feed the herd of bison.

Distance: 56 minutes

Ideal for: Animal lovers

Dry Falls, Washington

Dry Falls

Dry Falls was once the largest waterfall on Earth, bigger than Niagra Falls, but today Dry Falls is bare. Once the water tumbled down three miles of cliffs and flowed with the power of more water than all of the world’s rivers combined.

You can still see the basalt chasm which showcases a drop of 400 feet, which has been dry since the final flooding of the last Ice Age. Visit the visitor’s center where you can learn about the geology and history of the area.

After that, you can go hiking in the trails of the area boat in Park Lake or kayak in Deep Lake. If you want to stay longer, you can also camp under the stars.

Distance: 2 hours and 6 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Soap Lake, Washington

Soap Lake

Just a 20-minute drive from Dry Lake, Soap Lake is a charming city in Grant County, located along the banks of the picturesque lake of the same name. 

The lake is known for its healing powers of its mineral-rich waters. The lake gets over  320 days of sun each year and is located at the end of a chain of area lakes in the Lower Grand Coulee region.

Visitors can just relax, swim in the lake or walk along the water’s edge. People claim that the water has healing properties and can smooth skin and soothe aching joints and pains.

You can also enjoy mud baths at the lake or float on its waters due to its unique buoyancy conditions.

Distance: 2 hours

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Sierra Silver Mine, Washington

Sierra Silver

This historic silver mine was discovered around the turn of the 20th century in Wallace, Idaho. Here you can get the firsthand experience of silver mining, including a tour with a retired miner, and a look at the tools used to mine silver. 

The area’s mining activities were shut in the 20th century and the mine was converted into a nonprofit organization, offering guided tours for visitors throughout the year. 

Distance: 1 hour and 24 minutes

Ideal for: History lovers

Sandpoint, Washington

Sandpoint

Sandpoint is a lovely city in northern Idaho,  known for sweeping views of Lake Pend Oreille and Schweitzer Mountain Resort. It makes for a great day trip from Spokane.

The town was named as America’s most beautiful small town by Rand McNally and USA Today and it is no surprise that it is popular with tourists. Sandpoint has a charming small-town feel and is a perfect place for a weekend getaway will not break the budget.

Things you can do here are year-round opportunities for skiing, biking, and hiking at the resort or swim at the lovely Green Bay swimming hole. You can also rent paddleboards at the lake, or take a bike ride.

Other attractions include the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society Arboretum and the Bonner County History Museum.

Distance: 1 hour and 22 minutes

Ideal for: Relaxed getaway

Riverside State Park, Washington

Riverside

Riverside State Park is Washington’s second-largest state park, located approximately 10 minutes northwest of Spokane’s downtown district. This state park makes for a great escape from Spokane for the day.

Riverside State Park covers about  11,000 acres along the banks of the beautiful Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers. It is also home to Nine Mile Recreation Area, the Little Spokane River Natural Area, and the Bowl and Pitcher area.

Visitors can indulge in hiking, camping, dirt biking, and snowmobiling.

Distance: 15 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

McLellan Conservation Area, Washington

McLellan

Located along the Spokane River, the Mclellan Conservation Area protects 410 acres of stunning Ponderosa pine forest. It makes for a great day trip from Spokane.

The conservation area was originally developed in 1995 and has been identified as one of Spokane County’s most important wildlife habitat sites by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

There is a plethora of wildlife which the visitors can view like black bears, deer, moose, and osprey. There is a great horseshoe-shaped hiking trail system as well which is open to the public.

Distance: 37 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Colville National Forest, Washington

Colville National Forest

Colville National Forest is a huge area of preserved wilderness located adjacent to the Kaniksu and Okanogan National Forests in Colville. The forest spans over 1.1 million acres and is a campers paradise.

It offers primitive camping experiences throughout its stunning dry ponderosa pine and high-country subalpine fir forest habitats. It is located just two hours away from Spokane and this rugged land is a great day trip.

There are interpretive trails throughout the park that tell the tale of logging and mining activities within the forest throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Distance: 2 hours

Ideal for: Camping lovers

Walla Walla, Washington

Walla Walla

Located on the state border with Oregon, Walla Walla is Walla Walla County’s largest city. Earlier, it was known for its production of sweet onions and its Washington State penitentiary location.

It is a charming small town and is known for its wine production and attracts many wine lovers. The vineries here have international acclaim for wineries producing delicious Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet varietals. 

Do check out Waterbrook Winery and Leonetti Cellar. After having a glass or two of wine, roam around the main street which is known for its lovely shops, cafes, and dining destinations.

Distance: 2 hours and 46 minutes

Ideal for: Wine enthusiasts

Kennewick, Washington

Kennewick

The largest community in Washington State’s Tri-Cities region, Kennewick is located along the southwestern banks of the beautiful Columbia River.

Do visit the downtown area which is undergoing a rebirth transformation, home today to many specialty boutiques, art galleries, breweries, and wine bars. Kennewick Three Rivers Entertainment District’s Toyota Center is known for hosting events, concerts, and Broadway Musicals which visitors can enjoy.

Distance: 2 hours and 16 minutes

Ideal for: Relaxed getaway

Post Falls, Washington

Post Falls

Just 25 miles west of Spokane lies Post Falls which is known as Idaho’s “River City”. The city is home to many family-friendly activities.

The main attraction here is popular Falls Park, which offers a children’s fishing pond. The beautiful falls are a sight worth seeing as they extend 212 feet higher than Niagara Falls. 

Visitors can enjoy many outdoor activities including boating, kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding at Snake River Canyon.

Distance: 28 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Washington

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Located just six miles south of the city of Chene, Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful national wildlife refuge which deserves a visit. 

The refuge spans more than 18,000 acres throughout the unique Channeled Scablands geographical region. Visitors can explore marshes, wetlands, and lakes as it is all here in the refuge.

Apart from that, there are excellent opportunities for bird-watching and photography.

Distance: 26 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Mount Spokane, Washington 

Mount Spokane

Mount Spokane is Spokane’s highest summit which reaches an elevation of 5,883 feet above sea level. It is located just northeast of Spokane and is one of the tallest mountain peaks within the Inland Northwest region.

Explore more than 100 miles of trails throughout the surrounding lushly-forested Selkirk Mountain range. 

Distance: 42 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Seattle, Washington

Seattle

One of the most scenic cities in western Washington State. This city is known world-over for as a major mecca for technology, innovation, and independent music.

Bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Foo Fighters originated from here in the 1990s. Have a view of the city from the city’s iconic Space Needle.

Other attractions in the city include Museum of Pop Culture, the family-friendly Seattle Aquarium and Woodland Park Zoo, and the historic Pike Place Market.

Distance: 4 hours and 18 minutes

Ideal for: Family getaway

Conclusion

Needless to say, Spokane is a great place to jump-start many day trips. You can explore the healing Soap Lake or roam around the amazing city of Seattle. 

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