Places To Kayak In Spokane (Explore 10 Stunning Places)

Embark on a breathtaking aquatic adventure as we unveil the hidden gems of Spokane, where tranquil waters meet awe-inspiring landscapes – welcome to the ultimate guide on Places to Kayak in Spokane.

Discover a paddler’s paradise that teems with sparkling rivers, serene lakes, and scenic waterways, where every stroke of your kayak paddle reveals nature’s captivating beauty.

Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker seeking a new challenge or a curious explorer eager to dip your toes into this invigorating world, Spokane promises an unforgettable aquatic escapade like no other.

So, strap on your life jacket, grab your paddle, and let’s navigate through the most enthralling and picturesque kayaking spots Spokane has to offer.

Overview Of The Places to Kayak in Spokane

Spokane is known as the “heart of the Inland Northwest” and is a city full of activities, history, culture, and entertainment.

One popular activity that visitors to this city can enjoy is kayaking on one of Spokane’s pristine lakes or rivers.

There are many great places to kayak within an hour’s drive from the city centre, with several popular destinations being Lake Coeur d’Alene, Newman Lake, Long Lake, and Liberty Lake.

Kayaking around these lakes provides stunning views of nature’s beauty away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Spokane.

All levels of experience are welcome, with kayak rentals available in the area and lessons taught by seasoned kayaking professionals.

Whether you are just beginning or looking to further develop your skills, visiting Spokane and exploring its waters by kayak is a wonderful way to spend the day.

Why Scenic Drives Are A Great Way To Explore Spokane

Discover Spokane’s Natural Beauty

Lying at the heart of the Inland Northwest, Spokane is home to magnificent landscapes, including waterfalls, lakes, forests, and mountains.

Embarking on a scenic drive through this picturesque city allows you to bear witness to these breathtaking views, as well as an opportunity to admire various species of flora and fauna native to the region.

Uncover Spokane’s Hidden Gems

A scenic drive in Spokane will undoubtedly lead you to many lesser-known yet beautiful destinations.

Exploring the city and its surrounding areas via the road allows you to uncover scenic overlooks, quaint local towns, and lush green parks, which may not be found on typical tourist itineraries.

Exploring Spokane’s Rich Heritage

Spokane is steeped in history, with many historical sites and landmarks scattered throughout the city. A scenic drive can take you past significant places like Fort Spokane, Mansfield ghost town, and The Campbell House, enabling a rich understanding of the past and the present of this beautiful region.

Capture Timeless Memories in Spokane

The abundant natural beauty and diverse landscapes in Spokane make for unforgettable photo opportunities.

A scenic drive will allow you to capture striking images of the city’s scenery, immortalizing cherished memories and moments with friends and family.

Stress-Free Driving for Relaxation

Scenic driving is a calming and tranquil experience, which encourages you to leave your worries behind and unwind. Meandering through Spokane’s beautiful roads, surrounded by natural beauty, can be an incredibly serene and mindful practice.

Cherish Moments with Loved Ones

A scenic drive through Spokane is an excellent way to spend quality time with loved ones, strengthening bonds and making memories together. Engage in the art of conversation or share the joy of searching for picturesque spots off the beaten track.

Discover Freely on Your Schedule

Unlike pre-planned tours or guided trips, a scenic drive through Spokane allows you to determine your own pace and schedule.

Customize your itinerary according to your preferences, spending time at locations you find most appealing or taking frequent breaks at charming roadside cafes.

Embrace Spokane’s Seasons and Weather

From vibrant spring blossoms to golden autumn foliage, Spokane’s numerous parks and scenic drives showcase the city’s stunning seasonal changes.

Cruise through the city in various weather conditions, appreciating the distinct beauty offered by each season.

Scenic Drives & Outdoor Adventures in Spokane

Since many scenic locations in Spokane offer opportunities for outdoor activities, you can make a day of it by combining a picturesque drive with a hike, bike ride, or picnic.

Go birdwatching at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge or enjoy a leisurely picnic at Riverside State Park, adding variety to your scenic drive.

Embrace Adventure & Freedom in Spokane

Navigating Spokane’s scenic roads enables you to experience the thrill of adventure and the freedom of exploration.

Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, uncovering the city’s hidden gems and beautiful landscapes evokes a sense of wonder and satisfaction.

Embrace the excitement of discovery, igniting a passion for travel and adventure within you.

10 kayaking places in Spokane

1. Spokane River

The Spokane River flows through downtown Spokane and offers several great spots for kayaking, including the Bowl and Pitcher, and the Riverside State Park.

The Spokane River is a great destination for outdoors people who are looking to kayak or watch wildlife. Running through downtown Spokane, the river offers beautiful sights and unique places of interest that you won’t find anywhere else.

From the peaceful rapids at The Bowl and Pitcher, which provides an intimate experience with nature, to Riverside State Park, an expansive natural getaway where you can observe a wide array of wildlife along the riverbanks, there is something for everyone.

Whether it’s a calm float on a sunny day or an adventurous journey through waterfalls and rapids, the Spokane River has it all.

2. Fish Lake

Fish Lake is a small lake located about 20 miles southwest of Spokane, offering a peaceful setting for kayaking.

Located 20 miles away from Spokane, Fish Lake is an idyllic spot that offers a serene escape for those looking to enjoy kayaking on tranquil waters.

Albeit small in size, this lake packs a punch with its picturesque mountains, vibrant sunsets, and beautiful views.

Kayakers can spend hours exploring the lake with its calm waters, whether going for early morning fishing trips or leisurely boating throughout the day.

There’s no better place to appreciate nature’s beauty than at Fish Lake, making it perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

3. Newman Lake

Newman Lake is located about 20 miles east of Spokane, and it’s a great place to kayak and paddleboard.

Newman Lake is a tranquil haven nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of northeast Washington. Just a short drive away from Spokane, it’s the perfect spot for adventure-seekers looking to kayak and paddleboard in peaceful surroundings.

The lake’s unique combination of flat and open vistas, meandering tributaries, and lush vegetation offers an unforgettable experience that never gets old.

Whether you’re searching for a relaxing weekend escape or an exhilarating outdoor adventure, Newman Lake is sure to provide you with the ideal combination of relaxation and recreation under one incredibly scenic roof.

4. Clear Lake

Clear Lake is located about 35 miles north of Spokane, and it’s a great spot for kayaking and fishing.

Clear Lake is an amazing spot for those who love the outdoors. It’s situated just a short drive away from Spokane, making it easy to access whenever you need a day of rest and relaxation.

Whether you prefer fishing or kayaking, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to indulge in each while at Clear Lake. Put your lines out in search of trout, bass, and perch, or jump into your kayak with a lightweight pole for some shallow fishing.

If you’re feeling competitive, there are also organized tournaments held throughout the summer so that you can test your skills against other anglers.

Capture the perfect moment in photos along the beautiful shoreline as your backdrop before heading back home with memories of your time spent on Clear Lake.

5. Liberty Lake

Liberty Lake is located about 20 miles east of Spokane and offers a beautiful setting for kayaking.

Liberty Lake is a stunning spot to visit for nature lovers and outdoor activities enthusiasts alike. Located only 20 miles from Spokane, the lake provides travellers with a plethora of scenery and fun activities to enjoy.

Arguably the most popular activity at the lake is kayaking which allows visitors to view the wetlands, shorelines, and lush forests up close.

With beautiful blue waters and tranquil lapping waves, paddling an evening away in Liberty Lake will be sure to make any visit worthwhile.

6. Medical Lake

Medical Lake is located about 20 miles west of Spokane, and it’s a great place to kayak and fish.

Located only 20 miles from Spokane, Medical Lake is the perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Beautiful scenery awaits you at this gorgeous lake where you can kayak, fish, or simply soak up the stunning views.

Kayakers of all levels can find exhilarating trails around the lake to explore, while anglers have found success fishing for bass, trout, and perch in the depths.

Not only does the area draw many visitors each summer who know that it’s a quick getaway from the city, but locals also flock to its shores to take advantage of all that it has to offer.

Medical Lake truly is an idyllic spot for some much-needed peace and relaxation away from everyday life.

7. Long Lake

Long Lake is located about 30 miles southwest of Spokane, and it’s a popular spot for kayaking and boating.

Long Lake is a vast body of water that welcomes visitors from near and far. Located approximately 30 miles southwest of Spokane, Washington, it’s no wonder why this lake has become a popular destination for kayakers and boaters alike.

A peaceful and tranquil spot for outdoor enthusiasts to explore its beauty, Long Lake offers an abundance of recreational opportunities such as fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming, hiking, exploring the nearby wetlands, or simply spending the day lounging on its shores.

Wide open spaces with gorgeous views make this lake an ideal location to relax, unravel and take in the splendour of nature’s wonders – making it easy to see why it has quickly become one of the area’s top locations.

8. Lake Coeur d’Alene

Lake Coeur d’Alene is located about 40 miles east of Spokane, and it’s a great place for kayaking and paddleboarding.

Lake Coeur d’Alene is a paradise for any water enthusiast. Situated in northern Idaho and stretching 25 miles, the lake has a rich cultural history and breathtaking scenery.

The area around it is home to countless outdoor activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and boating – all of which offer an incredible way to explore what the lake has to offer.

From majestic cliffs covered in rugged, evergreen forests to shimmering blue waters provided by glacial runoff from nearby mountains, it’s not hard to see why so many people find this area so inviting.

Whether you’re searching for adventure or just looking to relax and take in nature’s beauty, Lake Coeur d’Alene is sure to impress.

9. Hauser Lake

Hauser Lake is located about 20 miles east of Spokane, and it’s a popular spot for kayaking and fishing. Hauser Lake is a picturesque lake situated deep in the woods just outside of Spokane.

Visitors can enjoy peaceful kayaking along its wooded shores, or challenge themselves by fishing for some of the lake’s various carp and bass.

The area around the lake is also home to an abundance of wildflowers and endangered birds, making it a great place to stop and admire nature in its purest form.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced outdoorsman, Hauser Lake is sure to make your trip out east a memorable one.

10. Diamond Lake

Diamond Lake is located about 50 miles north of Spokane, and it’s a great place for kayaking, fishing, and camping.

Enjoy a peaceful and secluded weekend getaway just 50 miles north of downtown Spokane at Diamond Lake.

With crystal clear waters and plentiful wilderness, it’s an ideal location for tranquility seekers of all types.

Fishing is ideal in the lake, as many classic Northwest species can be caught there, while kayakers can explore the lake’s nooks and crannies from shore to shore.

Camping opportunities near Diamond Lake range from primitive and rustic to luxurious full-service sites whatever your preference, you’ll find something that fits your style.

Tips for Safely Enjoying the Drive

Best Time to Visit

Spokane is a beautiful city located in eastern Washington, along with the Spokane River. The best time to visit Spokane for kayaking and outdoor activities is generally during late spring through early fall.

Late May to September offers the most favourable weather conditions with mild temperatures and low precipitation. The summer months of June, July, and August are perfect for enjoying the water and exploring the city’s natural beauty.

Avoid visiting during the winter months, as temperatures can drop below freezing and there might be a higher chance of encountering adverse weather conditions.

Preparing for the Kayaking

Before embarking on your kayaking adventure, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the Spokane River and its environment.

Research the various kayak rental facilities or guided tour companies available in the area. Check the local weather forecast to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Remember to pack appropriate clothing, such as quick-drying clothes that maintain warmth even when wet. Keep yourself protected from the sun by wearing a hat, and sunglasses, and applying sunscreen.

Water shoes or sandals with good traction are also recommended. A good level of physical fitness is advisable for paddling long distances or manoeuvring through swift currents.

For those new to kayaking, consider taking a beginner’s kayaking class or starting with shorter, easier routes to gain confidence and experience.

Must-Have Supplies

In addition to suitable clothing and footwear, make sure to pack the following essential supplies:

Life Jacket (PFD):

A personal flotation device is crucial for safety while kayaking. Ensure it is US Coast Guard-approved and fits securely.


Invest in a good-quality paddle suitable for your height and the type of kayaking you will be doing.

Dry Bag:

Use a waterproof dry bag to store your belongings and keep them from getting wet or damaged.

Whistle: Attach a whistle to your life jacket as a simple and effective way to communicate or signal for help.

First Aid Kit:

Carry a small first-aid kit containing items like adhesive bandages, gauze pads, tweezers, pain relievers, and any necessary personal medication.

Hydration and Snacks:

Bring along plenty of water and some energy-packed snacks to stay refreshed and fueled during your journey.

Map and Compass/GPS:

Familiarize yourself with the area and bring along navigational tools to avoid getting lost.

Kayaking Laws Spokane

As with any outdoor activity, it’s important to follow local laws and regulations when kayaking in Spokane. Here are a few key points to be aware of:

Wear a life jacket (PFD) at all times while on the water.

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult while kayaking.

Be aware of local rules and regulations governing areas like the Spokane River Centennial Trail, which has restrictions on access points and motorized boating. Properly abide by the no-wake zones near the shoreline.

Alcohol consumption is not permitted while operating a kayak. Stay sober to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.

By adhering to these tips and respecting the local environment, you can safely enjoy your kayaking experience in Spokane and create lasting memories of the city’s natural beauty.


Spokane is a great city to plan a kayaking trip. With numerous lakes, rivers, and creeks scattered throughout the area, there are plenty of choices for discovering the beauty of Eastern Washington’s outdoors.

In particular, Riverside State Park, Deep Creek Campground, Long Lake, and Fish Lake’s sandy beaches offer breathtaking scenery and easy access to crystal-clear waters.

Whether you’re looking for a challenging exercise paddle or an intimate campfire experience with friends and family, you will definitely find an outdoor kayaking adventure tailored fit to your needs in Spokane.