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  • Writer's pictureHannah Cossa

Fall Fun in Spokane, Washington

Updated: Jul 20, 2022

For the first time in 4 years or so, I am taking an actual vacation! Not just a weekend trip, but 7 days of exploring and adventures.


For the second time in 2021, I am heading to Spokane, Washington for a race. My first visit, in May, was a quick 4-day adventure which included a day in nearby Cour d'Alene, ID for a half marathon. During this visit, I took 6 days exploring new areas and the Fall scenery. Spokane, located 92 miles south of the Canadian border, was founded in 1873 and named for the Native American Plateau tribe who inhabit the eastern portion of present-day Washington state and parts of northern Idaho in the United States of America. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spokane_people)

It’s 7:38am and I am Spokane, Wa bound!

Day 1: I am shocked as I collect my belongings from the TSA security belt at the Fresno-Yosemite International airport. You really can take knitting needles on a plane! I am even more shocked when the young lady seated in front of me on my plane, has her crochet needle and yarn placed on the empty seat next to her. "I brought my knitting needles too!" I exclaim to her as I pull my knitting bag from my carry-on backpack. We have a 45 min flight to LAX and both intend to work on our projects. She is working on mini-crocheted pumpkins and while I am knitting squares for a baby blanket.

I barely catch my connecting flight out of LAX and am on my way. A quick 2 hours later, I am watching the forest scenery come into view through rain and clouds as the plane begins its descent into the Spokane airport. The landscape makes me feel like I am a world away from Fresno. Gone are the brown patches of land surrounded by a concrete jungle. I am ready for adventure!


I head straight into Spokane city center to explore the Riverfront Park. Riverfront Park is undoubtedly the defining landmark of Spokane. Embroidered in the city's history, Riverfront Park was designed specifically to accommodate Expo' 74, a World's Fair event. The one hundred-acre public park is beautiful in that it sits right by the Spokane River. (https://www.trip.com/blog/travel-guide-riverfront-park-spokane ) Riverfront Park offers playgrounds for kids, walking and biking trails, views of the Spokane River falls, as well as skyRide gondolas.

Day 2:

Nothing says Fall or Washington like Apple picking!

When visiting the Spokane area, the best place for a day of fruit picking is in Green Bluff. Green Bluff is a small farming community 15 minutes north of Spokane, WA. The community is home to a host of family-owned farms. Depending on the time of year, you can pick flowers, strawberries, cherries, peaches, apples, pumpkins, or Christmas trees.


Tip: The Green Bluff Growers Association provides a map and details about the 67 different farms that line a loop of roads. Click here for the map


Unfortunately, this season of apples ripened sooner than normal due to higher temperatures. However, I was lucky to find one farm that still had apples that were perfect for picking. Once I paid for my box of apples, I had to taste one. The apple was so crisp, fresh, and flavorful. You can immediately taste the difference between a fresh-picked apple versus one purchased from the supermarket.

Since it is Fall, there were also U-Pick Pumpkin patches! Any size, shape, and color you could desire! From the smallest pumpkin, no larger than a tennis ball, to huge boulder-sized pumpkins that would require a forklift to move! If you have kids, this is a great place to capture those harvest-time photos among the colorful pumpkin displays.

My last stop on my Green Bluff tour was Hidden Acres to see their farm animals and country store.

The drive from farm to farm in itself was so relaxing. Beautiful views of rolling hills, mountains, and distant forest trees were at every turn. Even if you are not in the mood to pick, this route would make for the perfect Sunday drive.

Tip: If you are interested in visiting a particular farm or store, be sure to call ahead to make sure they are open. Many of the farms are only open for limited hours based on the harvest, weather, etc. Each farm's contact information can be found on the map provided above.


Day 3

47.9229° N, 117.1129° W

Waking up early and refreshed from the peaceful day out in Green Bluff, today is the day for a challenge. Today, I will be visiting Mount Spokane State Park. Mount Spokane State Park is a 12,293-acre camping park in the Selkirk Mountains with 100 miles of trails. It is also home to Mt. Spokane, whose summit is the highest point in Spokane County, and one of the tallest peaks in the Inland Northwest 5,883' above sea level.


The weather in Spokane seems to change instantly without warning, sunny one minute and raining the next, so dressing in removable layers is key. I ate a hearty breakfast, finished loading my hiking pack with snacks, water, gloves, and emergency supplies, then started the 23-mile drive to the state park entrance.

Being an intermediate hiker, I had planned out a shorter version of the summit hike to ensure that I would succeed in my attempt. This route meant that I would drive to a parking lot higher on the Mountain. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions on the mountain, this route road was closed to vehicles. Using my trails app, I quickly backtrack down the mountain to the main starting point for the summit trail. (Mount Spokane from Hairpin Turn Parking Lot).

Since I had flown to Washington, I did not have my hiking poles with me. Luckily, someone had left two awesome branches at the trailhead. I claimed the branches and began my hike to the top. The climb was slow and grueling at times. The trail was wonderfully shaded for the majority of the hike. The tall trees offered wonderful shelter from the sun and then the rain and snow.


3 miles from the summit, the weather turned very sketchy. The wind had picked up and a dense cloud was settling around the peak. I pushed on, aware that the snow below my feet was turning from slush to ice. The higher portions of the mountain make up the Mount Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park. I knew that I was getting close to the top when the ski chair lifts came into view. At approximately 1:30 pm (3 hours after I began the climb), I finally reached the summit. I quickly found the Vista House* and took my photo proof of summiting. I knew that I did not have much time to spend looking around due to the white-out that was threatening to set in. Unfortunately, I was not able to see the spectacular views that the summit offers on a clear day but still marveled at the beauty of the surroundings.

On my journey back down the mountain, which was much quicker, it began to rain heavily. Luckily, the thick forest kept the majority of the rain off me and my layering of waterproof clothes and boots proved to be a wise choice. About an hour and a half after summiting Mt. Spokane, I was back to the parking lot and ready for some hot chocolate!


* Vista House - Built in 1933, the Vista House was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 12/07/2008.


Tip: All Washington State Parks require a "Discover Pass" to be displayed in entering vehicles. Passes may be purchased online or from various locations in person. Click here for more information


There are so many trails, parks, and historic sites to explore in Spokane. If you happen to be in the area, I recommend the following;

  • The Crosby House Museum - the family home of Bing Crosby which is located on the historic Gonzaga University Campus.

  • The Spokane County Superior Courthouse- built in 1895, the castle-like courthouse resembles two famous 16th century chateaux in the Loire Valley of France, the Chateau de Chambord, built in 1519 and the Chateau d'Azay Le Rideau built in 1516.

  • Manito Park - a free park with 78 acres of native and cultivated landscape and 20 acres of world-class botanical gardens

  • Riverside State Park - 10,000 acres of hiking, river sport, horse trails, and more!



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4 Kommentare


advancestan
31. Okt. 2021

Another area if you love the high country is the Enchantments which are above the tree line Wanatchee river area also has very many trail out of it. love that area.

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advancestan
31. Okt. 2021

Aashgard pass and hike to Colchuck lake Is one you have to do

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Hannah Cossa
Hannah Cossa
31. Okt. 2021
Antwort an

I will look into this! Thanks Stan!

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advancestan
31. Okt. 2021

Loved that area, I went to Lake Chelan and hiked some of the gorgeous trails there. Wanred to do ashgard pass and icicle ridge in Leavenworth

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