Spokane, Washington, US
2. Harvard Park to Mirabeau Park (Upper)
||II (for normal flows)
The run described is from Harvard Park to Mirabeau park (old zoo site). About 2.5 miles can be
shaved by putting in at the Barker bridge and taking out at Sullivan park. You won't miss much, but
if you enjoy a longer float use the described access points.
Description: The "upper" is an urban float that offers a nice training ground for beginner
paddlers. It is used by local paddling clubs for training. This section is also included in the
Spokane river race held annually in spring. On nice, warm, sunny days in the summer expect to see
little rubber rafts, canoes, kayaks, inner tubes, and the occassional snorkler!!!
To reach the upper put-in, take the Liberty Lake exit off I-90 and go north on Harvard rd across
the river. Turn left down a dirt road to Harvard park. To reach the take-out, return to the freeway
and travel west to the Evergreen exit, go north to the light and turn left into Maribeau and go to
the parking lot. The take-out is just a short hike from the eddy on river left up to the parking
From the put-in, easy flowing CL I till Barker rd bridge (2 miles). A long slow right turn flows
over shallow river rock and can be bumpy at lower flows. The current is steady for the next 1/2
mile then enters Flora rapids. Expect lively Cl II waves and dodging a few obvious boulders and
holes. This rapid can get tricky and there is a nice long recovery pool where you can empty your
canoe if troubles occur. On river left at flows between 5500-7500cfs, a nice playwave makes an
appearance. THis is Mini-Climax and is a dynamic wave with potential for loops, blunts, carts, etc.
Eddy service is fair. If you miss the eddy on river left, it is a simple carry back up. Be wary of
poison ivy! Mini-climax can also be a park and play wave.
The next rapid is Sullivan and here is where another playhole is located. The run is typically
right down the middle through a short wavetrain, avoiding the playhole (if desired). You'll know
you've reached Sullivan by the waiting lines of local and regional paddlers awaiting their turn in
the hole. Ideal flow for playing is 2200-3350cfs. Park and play here as well.
For the next 1/2 mile expect lively rapids that dwindle as you near the Sullivan Park take-out on
river right just past the bridge. If you continue on, there are no hazards or distinct rapids
except as noted here: At high flows be wary of severe undercurrents and whirlpools just below the
take-out at Mirabaeu on river left. These can be very treacherous. Not a problem in flows below
5,000cfs. The take-out is on the left.
Another caution:Deaths have occurred on the upper due to a combination of inexperience and
ill-equipped paddlers who mistake sunny hot spring weather as an open invitation to float the river
while at spring highflows. Hypothermia is a serious threat as the swims can be long.
Local "expert": Mick "Holehog" French email@example.com Nine Mile Falls, Wa.
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2005-01-31 18:56:25