Paragliding & Hang Gliding Steptoe Butte State Park

Steptoe Butte State Park is a true gem in the state parks system and offers several activities for its visitors including picnicking, wildlife viewing, and incredible views of the Palouse. The 1000 foot elevation gain from the base to the summit is a short drive for most but for the adventurous they can hike or ride a bike.

Photographers have been coming for years trying to capture is spectacular views, sunrises and sunsets. Rangers will organize stargazing events in the summer. If it is windy (which it is quite often) on a Saturday or Sunday in the summer then it is very possible to see people either paragliding or hang gliding from the summit.

This is absolutely fascinating to watch and I have found myself watching them for hours on end. You might find yourself like me taking a hundred photos staring off and thinking “I could do that.”

Steptoe Butte 3 edited jpg

Paragliders are lightweight, free flying foot-launched glider craft with no rigid primary structure. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing consisting of a large number of interconnected and baffled cells…. 

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Haunted Zombie Hike the woods are alive at Riverside State Park!

Are you a fan of zombies? Check out the Haunted Zombie Hike at Riverside State Park starting Friday Oct 11th through Oct 26th! The woods are alive with zombies and so much more!

John Zombie Hike

You never know what will be around the next corner as you walk among the zombies…….. 

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Riverside State Park Zombie Hike!

Riverside State Park Zombie Hike!

Last night John and I went to the Haunted Zombie Hike at Riverside State Park! I have to tell you this is so out of my comfort zone but I survived it. I am not a fan of scary movies, things jumping out at me, or well anything slightly scary. John convinced me that we needed to go and I needed to try something new. I have to say I had a great time. The hike is amazing! I am so impressed with the attention to detail and fun that the staff made this hike! It is scary but not so scary that you are running for your life.

This hike is only $5.00 a person!

Dates of the Haunted Zombie Hike
Saturday Oct 13 from 6-10pm
Friday October 19 from 6-10pm
Saturday October 20 from 6-10 pm
Friday October 26 from 6-10pm
Saturday October 27 from 6-1opm
Halloween Wednesday October 31st 6-10 pm

Location – Riverside State Park Equestrian Area
located just off of West Government Way

Floating the Little Spokane River, Part of Riverside State Park

Floating the Little Spokane River, part of Riverside State Park

This past weekend while my parents were in town we went canoeing and kayaking on the Little Spokane River. John has been telling me for weeks how amazing the Little Spokane Natural Area is and that we needed to take the canoe out. My parents were in town from Tacoma and brought their kayaks with them. I was really excited to head out on the river for a day of absolute relaxation and time with family and sunshine. I do wish I would have remembered to pack a baseball hat. The sun was bright and my nose definitely looked a bit pink by the time we were done.

We put in at the St. George’s trail head in Riverside State Park. We parked a car at the bottom of the river so we could shuttle back and forth. It is about a 15 minute drive from one trail head to the next so definitely not walking distance. There is a shuttle service from a non-park owned company that runs on the weekend. You can take Coast Guard approved boats/rafts on the river. Inter tubes and pool
floats are not allowed in the area.

The put in was really nice and easy. There is a gentle slope into the river so you can easily get into your boat. I have to say the first step into the river was cold and I did not want to get

anymore of my body in than I needed to. Right now the river is flowing nicely without to much of a crazy current or waves.

We had to paddle in some areas and others we just floated along looking at the scenery. We saw a ton of Osprey and could hear them all over the place. We also saw deer, muskrat, Mergansers, Mallards, Grebes, and a few other ducks.

We had a couple of fantastic water fights while paddling along. What canoe/kayak trip is complete without a water fight. The water was shockingly cold but felt great. My poor Mom got the brunt of the water fights from our canoe and my Dad in the kayak. She was soaked by the time we were done.

My Dad wore his new video camera while kayaking so hopefully I will be able to share some great videos from the trip soon. I have not seen the footage yet to see if it worked and how it turned out.

It took us about 3 hours to finish the entire river. When John did it a few weeks ago with his Sister they were able to do the entire stretch in just about 2 hours. They paddled the entire time and did not float as much as we did. We really enjoyed floating along and looking at the scenery. The river was gorgeous. I was amazed at how quiet it was on the river. You are not that far from town or houses and there were areas it was completely silent except for the water noise. I can’t wait to go back out on the water and see what animals we see. John said some park visitors had a Moose walk along the side of the river while they were on it. I think that sounds a bit scary and I would probably be nervous the entire time but trying to take a picture too.

You can access the Little Spokane Natural area at both the St. George’s Put In and near Painted Rocks Trailhead.

Riverside State Park – Amazing Sunsets at the Nine Mile Recreation Park

The Nine Mile Recreation Area is a fantastic part of Riverside State Park. Located in Nine Mile Falls just outside of Spokane this park is one of my favorite places for sunsets. You can have a nice picnic and roast marshmallows in the fire pit and watch the sunset over the lake. There are quite a few picnic tables available and a huge lawn that is perfect for a picnic.
If you have a boat there is a boat launch available. Depending on the time of year you can also rent kayaks and canoes from the visitor center.
There are bathrooms, running water, kitchen shelters and camping available also.

Directions to the Nine Mile Recreation Area
From I-90, take exit 280 (Maple St.), travel north across the Spokane River. Take a left on Northwest Blvd. Stay on this road until Francis Ave (Hwy 291), take a left. When the road bends north, it becomes Nine Mile Road. Travel for six miles. After going through the town of Nine Mile Falls, take a left at the dam (Charles Road). Continue west on Charles Road for 1.3 miles and turn right (across from the church) into the park entrance.

Want to check out other great areas of Riverside? Check out these posts on the park.
-Spring Flowers
Nine Mile Dam
-Bowl and Pitcher

Riverside State Park – ORV Area

Riverside State Park – Off Road Vehicle Park

The ORV park is located west of Spokane on Inland Road. The park is 600 acres and is a multi-use area. You can enjoy exploring the area on your dirt bike, 3 and 4 wheeler, and other ORVs. The area is filled with hill climbs, sandy areas, trails through the forest and depending on the time of year great mud puddles.
There are restrooms, picnic shelters, parking and a great loading and unloading ramp. There is no camping at the ORV park but you can camp in the bowl and pitcher area.


ORV Operating Requirements 
-ORV Permit Tabs are required for operating any non street-legal vehicle in the ORV Area
-A US Forest Service approved spark arrestor is required and must be in working order. No modifications permitted
-ORVS are required to have an operating muffler device which is adequate and does not exceed noise standards of 105 decibals
-ORV users are required to stay within fenced boundaries
-Only Street legal vehicles are permitted on Inland Road. ORV’s must be operated in designated areas only.

 

Directions to the OVR Area

  • From I-90 take exit 280 (Maple St.) go north across the Spokane River.
  • Take a left on Northwest Blvd.
  • Stay on this road until Francis Ave. (Hwy 291) take a left.
  • When the road bends north, it becomes Nine Mile Rd.
  • Take a left on Seven Mile Rd. and follow the signs to the ORV area (approximately two miles).

Have you visited the ORV park? We would love to hear what you thought and see your photos.

Want to know more about Riverside State Park check out some of the other parts of the park
-Spring Flowers
-Bowl and Pitcher
- Nine Mile Dam

Riverside State Park – Nine Mile Recreation Area -Camping, Boating, Picnics and more!

Nine Mile Recreation Area 

The Nine Mile Recreation Area is located in Nine Mile Falls. The area is open for day use and camping (May 15-Sept 15). There is a fantastic picnic area, boat launch, kitchen area, and so much more. There is a sand volleyball court available for games. During the summer you can rent kayaks and canoes from the visitor center.
There are 21 RV sites and 3 tent sites at the Nine Mile Recreation area.

Here are some of our favorite pictures of the Nine Mile Recreation Area
Picnic next to the lake and enjoy the great views.

There is a great swimming area right next to the picnic shelters

Roast marshmallows and enjoy a relaxing moment next to the lake.

RV spaces and picnic tables are available at the park

A view down the dock

Kitchen area

Directions to the Nine Mile Recreation Area
From I-90, take exit 280 (Maple St.), travel north across the Spokane River. Take a left on Northwest Blvd. Stay on this road until Francis Ave (Hwy 291), take a left. When the road bends north, it becomes Nine Mile Road. Travel for six miles. After going through the town of Nine Mile Falls, take a left at the dam (Charles Road). Continue west on Charles Road for 1.3 miles and turn right (across from the church) into the park entrance.

Want to see more of Riverside? Here are links to some of the other articles we have shared about the park
-Spring Flowers
Nine Mile Dam
-Bowl and Pitcher 

Riverside State Park – Bowl and Pitcher

Riverside State Park Bowl & Pitcher 

The Bowl and Pitcher area of Riverside State Park is a great place for hiking, camping, picnics and more!

There are great hiking trails and you can walk across the swinging bridge for a great view of the Spokane River.

Here is a great look at the Bowl and Pitcher area from the other side of the river

To Riverside -Bowl and Pitcher: From I-90 take exit 280 (Maple Street) go north across the Spokane River, turn left at the second stop light onto Maxwell. Follow Maxwell, which becomes Pettit Dr., then Downriver Dr. and then becomes N. Aubrey L. White Pkwy at the park entrance. Continue on for two miles downriver to the Bowl & Pitcher day-use area and campground.

Want to know more about Riverside State Park check out some of the other parts of the park
-Spring Flowers
Nine Mile Dam

Riverside State Park – Nine Mile Dam

Have you visited Nine Mile Falls lately? The overlook in Nine Mile Falls is a fantastic way to check out the Nine Mile Dam. There is an amazing amount of water flowing over the dam right now. You can get a great viewpoint of the dam and see the Osprey and Swallows flying overhead.

Nine Mile Dam Viewpoint

If you walk over the bridge you can get a great view of the dam and the Spokane River

Want to know more about Riverside State Park check out some of the other parts of the park
-Spring Flowers
-Bowl and Pitcher

Riverside State Park – Great time to visit and check out the spring flowers

It is a wonderful time to come out and visit Riverside State Park! There are tons of spring flowers blooming right now.

Here are a few of the photos I took this week at the Bowl and Pitcher

Want to know more about Riverside State Park check out some of the other parts of the park
-Bowl and Pitcher
Nine Mile Dam

Riverside State Park – Spokane

Yesterday John took me to Riverside State Park in Spokane. We visited the Bowl and Pitcher area this summer and were excited to see what it is like in the winter. It was absolutely beautiful!
Here is a picture of an amazing deer that we saw sitting near the Bowl & Pitcher Campground
I think we are so lucky to live in a city that has State Parks so close to it.  I am a little partial to the Columbia Plateau Trail since that is were John works. We also have Riverside State Park and Mt Spokane State Park. Currently it is FREE to take your families to visit a state park. If you are looking for a wonderful way to get out of the house and explore the local area I would highly suggest a State Park.
Here are links to information on our local State Parks
Columbia Plateau Trail
Mt Spokane
Riverside
Do any of you have a favorite State Park to visit?