The 100 acres of land and water now occupied by Spokane’s Riverfront Park has always been a gathering place. Early Native Americans fished here at Spokane Falls. In the late 1800s, pioneers settled here. Shortly thereafter, the railroad and timber industries established the city here. And in 1974, a World’s Fair took place here. And almost 40 years after the Expo ’74, the site still attracts local families and visitors alike.
With so much going on—year-round special events and celebrations, amusement rides, an IMAX theatre, mini golf, and plenty of space to play and picnic—if you haven’t visited Spokane’s Riverfront Park, you’re missing out. Whether you want to stroll the Sculpture Walk, take a ride on a historic carousel, or get a bird’s-eye view of Spokane’s finest natural attraction on the Falls Skyride, Spokane’s Riverfront Park offers something for everyone!
The Spokane River flows from Lake Coeur d’Alene to Lake Roosevelt. The Falls are a natural and dramatic transition along that 111-mile route. The best time of the year to view Spokane Falls is March-June when the water runs at its highest rate. The best views are from the gondola cars of the Spokane Falls SkyRide, but other stationary viewpoints are easily accessible by foot.
The 155-foot high Clocktower is located on Havermale Island in the middle of Riverfront Park. It sits on an actual island— the Spokane River splits around it and then comes together at the Falls. The tower is all that remains of the original 1902 Great Northern Railroad Depot that was demolished to make way for Expo’ 74. This giant grandfather clock is wound by hand once a week by a technician who climbs 5 stories to reach the clockworks. It takes 99 turns of the crank to rewind the clock.
Childhood Express is just one of over 20 massive pieces of artwork found on the Sculpture Walk in Spokane’s Riverfront Park. In 1990, this interactive sculpture— the handle doubles as a slide— was dedicated to Spokane’s children as a reflection of the past, created in the present, to last into the future. The dimensions of the huge red wagon are 12’ high x 12’ wide x 27’ long. It weighs 26 tons.
Charles Looff, a master craftsman, created a merry-go-round as a wedding gift for his daughter in 1909. This well-preserved, hand-carved wooden work of art is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Choose a seat on one of 54 horses, or ride a giraffe, tiger, or in a Chinese dragon chair—all are festooned in over 1,000 glittering European stained glass jewels. After being taken for a ride on the Looff Carrousel, satisfy your sweet tooth with cotton candy or ice-cream!
507 N Howard St.
Spokane, WA 99201
In addition to writing about her travels, Denise Seith is also a treasure hunter and loves a good latté. She and her husband own an online gold prospecting and metal detecting equipment store found at GoldRushTradingPost.com