Little Spokane River
Here is the sign to look for
Ancient pictographs, hiking especially good for families w/smaller children, & running the river with Canoe or Kayak. Great Blue Heron nesting grounds abound here and are the main attraction. Be careful to not disturb them. No mountain bikes or dogs allowed. Bugs, worms, centipedes, leeches, spiders, skink, marmot, skunk, raccoon, beaver, chipmunk, snakes, coyote, & deer aresome of the mammals. Plants include more than: mosses, lichens, grasses, herbs, horsetails, ferns, aspens, pines. Flying things include more than: Heron, geese, ducks, owls, hawks, sparrows, swallows, ravens, kingbirds, dragonflies, butterflies, bees, & flies. Swimming things include more than: Salmon, trout, carp, catfish, bass, perch, salamanders, frogs. Thirteen habitat types: Sub-alpine, Mountain, Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, Rockland, Bushland, Grassland, Wetland, Riparian, Stream, Pond, Disturbed, & Human. It is flat busy out there.
From Francis & Indian Trail road go North on Indian Trail road for a few miles until you are past the new housing developments. Go around a big bend, downhill, and across a small bridge and then look for the State Park signs nearly immediate on the left. The pictographs are very near the parking lot. Carry boats back to the the bridge you crossed over and launch there or a longer alternate is to start from the launch at St. George's school. The take out is about 7 miles down a swift stream so you must have a vehicle awaiting there. The trip only takes about an hour because of the swift current. To get to the takeout with the car, start from the Francis/Indian Trail intersection, but go west on Francis onto Hwy 291 past Nine Mile falls and you will fairly immediately see a boat launch sign. Turn left here and go to where you see a tree by a creek size river with some small rapids. Park there, as the boats will get outright before the rapids.
Recently there has been a log all the way across the river at about midpoint. A skilled paddler can fairly easily slide over it, but it could cause a cold immersion for a beginner. Portaging is possible but not easy. The rapids are not very dangerous, but you should get out before them to meet your ride. If you miss this just continue on and your car can be connected with without too much trouble. To stop before the rapids be cautious to paddle over to the left side of the river immediately after passing under the Little Spokane bridge and you will have no problems. The main caution here is that there easily can be fallen trees lying all the way across the river making it necessary to hit them hard and push your way over quickly without losing balance and submerging. If you submerge, don't panic as the shore is only feet away and you will be able to get out hopefully with your boat for reentry purposes. Many people relax too much on this short run and find themselves tangled on branches or tipping over logs due to the high current speeds during some parts of the year. (during runoff times these years it is especially dangerous because of flood conditions, as once we paddled it when the water level was so high the canal could not be observed. banks were overrun) Be observant upon each turn of the river for logs and deer and birds. It is very beautiful and highly recommended to run this river in mid-winter, especially when it is snowing, but don't capsize as you could freeze.
Rules & Law
In winter use a wet or dry suit if you are concerned about log/capsizing. This is such a short trip just bring water, binoculars maybe a lunch.