Dramatic waterfall in downtown Spokane harnessed for hydropower. No access at the base of the falls so you will need to use one of the access points downstream.
This is an alternate put-in and the furthest upstream in downtown Spokane under the Maple Street Bridge.
This access serves as a take-out for those who just want a class II float or a put-in for those who want a short run that includes the two class III rapids.
Stay to the right and avoid the stuff on far river left.
The conservative line is river right but watch out for holes. Additional slots between the boulders depending on flows and wood hazards. Some fun playboating can be found in this rapid.
Ninemile Dam, constrcuted in 1908, backs up a reservoir that extends upstream to Plese Flat which is the take-out for the whitewater run. Flatwater paddling is an option from the standard take-out down the reservoir to the dam.
Ran this on 5/12/13, river was around 17-18,000. Put in at the end of W. Water Ave., just west of Glover Field. 14' raft with 4 adults and 4 kids. Fast and fun with lots of big pushy water in the rapids. Great family trip, although next time I'd restrict it to 8yrs and older, at least at this water level. Bowl and Pitcher and Devil's Toenail were both fun and easy taking the conservative river right line. Ran it a couple days later in a IK. Also fun and pushy. Next time I'll drive harder into the big waves for more excitement.
Recreational instream flow survey and summary results
Petition to Amend the Spokane River Instream Flow Rule that 850 cfs does not protect wildlife, fish, scenic, aesthetic, recreation, water quality, and other environmental values
Appeal to Governor of Ecology's denial of petition to amend the Spokane River instream flow rule.
Published Opinion of Court of Appeals of the State of Washington in response to challenge of Ecology's Instream Flow Rule for Spokane River.
Comment that 850 cfs is inadequate to protect recreational values.
The levels listed are suitable for catarafts, rafts, canoes and kayaks. This section runs all year long from as low as 400 cfs to above 30,000. At low flows expect exposed basalt and narrow drops. At high flows most all rapids are washed out and what is left is fast and HUGE.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Upper Spokane Falls
Lower Spokane Falls
Plese Flats Take Out
Run out below Devil's Toe Nail
Devil's Toe Nail
Approaching Devil's Toe Nail
Bowl and Pitcher
Approaching Bowl and Pitcher
Poop Plant Access
Nine Mile Dam
Bowl and Pitcher from the air
View from Sandifur Pedestrian Bridge
Sandifur Pedestrian Bridge
Peaceful Valley Access
Disc Golf Access
T.J. Menach Bridge Access
Bowl and Pitcher Suspension Bridge
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Late in the day Wednesday, June 26th, the Washington State Court of Appeals Division II ruled in favor of Spokane River advocates, finding that the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) failed to protect summertime flows needed by the river, and thousands of boaters, fishers, anglers, and businesses. The court, in rejecting Ecology’s Spokane River rule, underscored that the agency arbitrarily disregarded thousands of public comments, boater surveys, an analysis comparing the aesthetics of different flows, and testimony of river-dependent businesses.
The beloved Spokane River flows through the second largest city in Washington state and includes spectacular waterfalls and a deep gorge. In most summers, enough water flows in the River to support fishing, river rafting, and other outdoor recreation. River advocates are asking the Court to hold the Department of Ecology to its duty to protect fish and wildlife, scenic, aesthetic and recreational values, and navigation, when establishing the minimum summer flows allowable for the Spokane River.
Advocates for the Spokane River are asking Gov. Jay Inslee to grant their petition for protecting all instream values of the Spokane River, including recreational boating opportunities. This is the next step in the citizens’ quest to protect Spokane River flows. A petition was filed in February with the Washington Department of Ecology, and rejected by the agency in April.
American Whitewater joined in petitioning the Washington Department of Ecology to amend its inadequate flow rule for the Spokane River. In setting the rule, the state agency ignored all public comments in support of protecting the Spokane River, and adopted a flow rule of 850cfs, a flow that is too low and jeopardizes the health of the Spokane River and public uses that include whitewater recreation. We are seeking a minimum summertime flow of 1,800 – 2800cfs to support fisheries and recreation, and protect higher flows for recreation when available.
Today river advocates criticized the Washington Department of Ecology for adopting a flow rule for the Spokane River that allows further dewatering of the popular urban river. The state rule sets flows for the Spokane River, including summertime low flows at 850 cubic feet per second. A recreational flow survey by American Whitewater found that all boaters prefer flows higher than 1000 cfs and most prefer flows in the range of 5000 cfs.
American Whitewater needs your help to define flows that support the full range of whitewater boating opportunities for the Lower Spokane River in Washington. This survey is designed so individuals can evaluate flows, which will then help American Whitewater and our conservation partners describe how flows affect recreation quality. We are seeking responses by Thursday November 6th.
On June 18th the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a new 50 year license for several dams on the Spokane River, near Spokane Washington and Post Falls Idaho. The license is based on several years of intense negotiations between the power company, tribes, agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club, Northwest Whitewater Association, and American Whitewater were involved on behalf of paddlers. The results of the new license are significant, and paddlers will certainly notice some positive changes in the not too distant future.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!