Upper Spokane Falls and Riverfront Park

August 15, 2017/Jonathan Rundle/2 Comments

Spokane Falls and Riverfront Park tops just about every must-see list for visitors to Spokane. Created in 1974, the 100 acre park straddles the Spokane River and includes great views of upper Spokane Falls.

Expo ’74 was a world’s fair that took over downtown Spokane. This Expo is responsible for the revitalization of the downtown core and the existence of this beautiful park.

President Nixon opened the festivities in May and by the time the Expo was over in November, he already resigned.

Spokane, WA Riverfront ParkSpokane, WA Riverfront Park

Canada Island

Crossing to Canada Island, the power of the falls is captivating.

Splitting the river, Canada Island was officially Canadian territory during the Expo. The land was deeded to Canada while it hosted the Expo’s British Columbia exhibition.

In March 2017, the island’s name changed to honor the area’s Salish tribe. “Snxw meneɂ” (sin-HOO-men-huh) translates to “salmon people.”

Spokane, WA Riverfront ParkSpokane, WA Riverfront Park

A look from the power plant to Canada Island.

Spokane, WA Riverfront Park

Washington Water Power Upper Falls Power Plant

Crossing from Canada Island to what was once Havermale Island, you see the Upper Falls Power Plant (1922).

At the time of construction, the region was expanding rapidly and demand was quickly out-pacing supply. Taking over a water channel used by an old mill, the Upper Falls plant holds a single Francis turbine, capable of generating 10 MW.

Spokane, WA Riverfront ParkSpokane, WA Riverfront Park

The lower falls are home of the Monroe Street Dam, the longest-running hydroelectric facility in Washington state.

Further up the park trail, we meet Mountain Sheep. Ken Spiering created this sheep sculpture for Riverfront Park with Spokane Art School students.

Spokane, WA Riverfront Park

The Howard Street Bridge will complete the loop back to Canada Island.

Spokane, WA Riverfront Park

Visit Spokane Falls and Riverfront Park

This is just part of the things to see and do near Spokane Falls and Riverfront Park. If you have time, visit the IMAX, rent a bike, get something to eat nearby and picnic in the park. The park also has the Spokane Falls SkyRide, which is a gondola ride over the falls. Unfortunately not open for the 2017 season, it will reopen in 2018.

Comments (2)

  • Daniel Rundle .August 26, 2017.Reply

    Enjoyed seeing the photos, looks like a nice place to visit. Would like to tour the power plant.

  • JoWalsh .August 15, 2017.Reply

    This was so beautiful !! Thank you for the posts.I enjoy all your travels

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