Sometimes we only have a day to unwind from the stressful work week. That’s why it’s helpful to have a handful local spots to visit in a short amount of time. For those who live in Eastern Washington or North Idaho, our MTN Talk crew found a perfect spot to decompress from your week in a single day.
After surviving yet another car trip with Joshua, who drives like he’s wanted for grand theft, I set foot on the paved parking lot of Bowl & Pitcher, a beautiful riverside state park near Spokane, Washington. We ventured into the nearby ranger office where we were greeted by two friendly rangers. These two ladies acted as if we were the first visitors they’d seen since last summer. After purchasing a day pass to the park (they require a Discovery Pass and we forgot ours), we made our way down to the coolest swinging bridges I’ve ever laid foot on. Josh and Taylor shared a beautiful moment together that I was lucky enough to capture on film. Note Taylor’s hand placement.
This beautiful bridge marks the beginning of a 2.1-mile loop trail. Because the main path was covered in ice, we spent the day working on a MTN Talk video and climbing big basalt formations like a bunch of clothed monkeys.
According to the Washington Trails Association, the trail begins at the swinging bridge, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Once you’ve crossed the river, you can choose to go upstream or downstream. Either direction provides views of the powerful river rapids and impressive rock formations that jut out from the rushing river.
As the Spokane River passed underneath us, Josh, Taylor and I ventured across the bridge, then took an immediate right. The icy path led us to “The Devil’s Toenail,” which is a rock formation that resembles… You guessed it! A big ol’ toenail.
This area is actually a spot where local kayakers perform freestyle tricks on a handful of powerful waves.
Like the mountain goat that he is, Josh galloped down to the river’s edge to get a closer look at the toenail. Taylor and I followed at a notably slower pace. Once we reached the water’s edge, we noticed a sweet little cave that Gollum would be proud to call home.
The water was bright aqua blue. It shimmered in the sunlight and resembled the color of the Caribbean Sea. As the water rippled, it’s reflection danced on the ceiling of the rocks above. It was the type of spot you completely forget about your worries.
To cap off our day trip, Joshua and I scrambled onto a nearby log that hung over the cold river below. I found a stick and proceeded to poke things with it. Joshua was intrigued.
To step it up even further, I stood on a half submerged log, which made for a pretty cool photo. My mother wouldn’t approve…
This was my first trip to Bowl and Pitcher, but it won’t be my last. Do you have any go-to spots near your home? We’d love to learn where you go to decompress from the week.
Thank you so much for reading and supporting our local blog!
Directions! To reach this riverside spot, take the Maple Street exit. From there, head north across the Maple Street Bridge, then go north and take a left onto Maxwell Street. Soon you will enter Riverside State Park. The main trailhead is at Bowl and Pitcher, which is roughly two miles north of the park entrance near the Aubrey L. White Parkway.