Running the Spokane River

 What:  The Great Blue Herons are common here, and very large. There are frequent fun rapids, and a lot of places to lolligag about. The Spokane River is beautiful and everyone should do this trip at least once, but only the section from Peacefull Valley to the takeout at TJ Meenach bridge. Going further downstream is for experts as the sign says near the sewage plant. Even strong children can do this only if they go with a responsible adult. Don't take this short trip lightly, but with good preparation it is safe, beautiful, and thrilling.
 
 Where:  Put in at the end of main street at the end of Peaceful Valley (go between the two Spokane Club bldgs and keep turning right). Take out at T.J. Meenach bridge by the parking lot or a little further down on the east side also at the new takeout spot.
 
 Cautions:  Be wary of the old cement bridge pylons as your craft could be sucked into one of them.Steer away from them. Be ready for the worst rapids before the T.J.M. bridge at the nude sun bathing beach. These waves will keep you too busy to see anything interesting. If you capsize, keep your feet in front of you and take care to not let your feet get caught in wire, rope, or rock formations. This river is not overly dangerous if you plan and prepare. A canoe is dangerous unless you are fairly expert in handling one because in the spring the river is like a swift freeway in water speed. In fall the canoe will get caught on rocks. On the last turn before the Bowl & Pitcher rapids is a powerful rapids that surprises people. In 1999 an adult drowned here. Stay tight in to the right side where the rapids are not too wild. If you fall out here do not get over excited even if it is hard to get over to the shoreline. You will not go through the large rapids if you continue to try to reach shore because the current lessons significantly after the turn and before the large rapids. If you are a skilled whitewater kayaker of course you may go through the Bowl and Pitcher rapids without problem. I do NOT recommend taking an inner tube or inflatable through the Bowl & Pitcher without expert skill and equipment. The first time I went through, my cheap paddle broke in half and the Tahiti spun around out of control and headed for the crack between the Bowl & the Pitcher.
 
 List:  Lots of people do this run in an innertube, but I recommend an inflatable kayak like the Tahiti, or better quality, with strong paddles allowing good steering capabilities. A helmet is a must for the first timer. A life jacket is a very good idea. Bring water even though it is only about a one hour ride. My wife and children have done this many times without incident, just be prepared.