NOTICE: All programs will meet guidelines in place at the time of the program, or they will be rescheduled/cancelled. Visit SpokaneRec.org to see available opportunities including virtual options. Read more.

Paddler Information

NOTICE: The Little Spokane River Natural Area is operated by Riverside State Park. Visit their website for more information about the park.

Little Spokane River Natural Area Prohibited Activities

The Little Spokane River Natural Area was established by the commission to conserve a unique natural environment in a nearly undeveloped state for passive low density outdoor recreation activities. To conserve the natural resources, scenic beauty and tranquility of the area, the following are prohibited within the Little Spokane River Natural Area:

  1. Bicycles.
  2. Camping.
  3. Commercial development or activities.
  4. Consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  5. Fires or fireworks.
  6. Horseback riding.
  7. Hunting.
  8. Motorized boats, personal watercraft, or boats propelled by means other than oars or paddles; use of canoes, rowboats, kayaks and rafts is specifically authorized.
  9. Pets including all dogs except assistance dogs for persons with disabilities.
  10. Swimming, or use of inner tubes, air mattresses or similar floatation devices.
  11. Travel by foot, skis or snowshoes off designated trails or outside designated corridors.

Safety

Please watch this general safety video produced by the Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA) and American Canoe Association (ACA).

Come prepared and bring along the following items:

  • 2-3 liters in a non-glass water bottle
  • Snacks and lunch
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Insect repellent
  • Drybag, dry box, ziplock bag or other means to keep your phone, wallet and keys in and dry
  • Shoes or river sandals that can get wet and stay on your feet (No Flip Flops)
  • Cloth you don't mind getting wet (your butt will get wet)
  • Extra change of clothes and towel to leave in your car for the ride home

Personal Floatation Devices

Washington State Law states that ALL persons on the Little Spokane must wear a coast guard approved, and correctly fitted Personal Floatation Device (Life Jacket) and have an attached signaling device (whistle).

Wear a life jacket. State law requires all vessels, including canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards, to have at least one properly fitted Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person on board. All children, 12 years of age or younger, are always required to wear life jackets. Modern, comfortable life jackets are tailored specifically for paddlesports. Inflatable life jackets are only allowed for persons 16 years of age or older. No matter your age and skill level, you're encouraged to wear a life jacket every time you go out on the water.
https://parks.state.wa.us/832/Paddlesports

Kayak Weight Limits (Rentals Only)

The rental kayak are the Ocean Kayak Frenzy. The Manufacture product specification weight limit is up to 325 lbs. All kayaks that are made have weight limitations. If you show up for your reservation and you are over the weight limitations, you will forfeit your reservation at your expense. So once again, please make sure you do not exceed any of our limitations that are specified above. This is for your safety and for the longevity and structural integrity of our kayaks. Damage done to any kayaks due to the misuse or exceeding any limits explained will be at your expense.

Damage Deposit and Replacement (Rentals Only)

I acknowledge that if I lose or damage lifejackets, paddles, kayak, the following expenses stated below may be charged to my credit card provided, as an additional charge to the rental fee. You will be required to sign the rental agreement at pick up.

Paddle Replacement: $75.00/each; Lifejacket replacement: $25.00/each; Single Kayak Replacement: $650.00; Repair to Kayaks: $100.00/minimum

WildLife

This unique little river and natural area is home to 100's of species including but not limited to moose, deer, blue heron, ducks, beavers, trout, bass, and numerous other animals. Please give the wildlife space! Warn other paddlers of hazards when you can.

Strainers

The Little Spokane River has or may have trees along the shoreline that overhang into the water as well as downed trees in river called strainers. This can pose a danger to you if you’re not fully aware of what to do when and if a strainer is encountered.

Paddlers on rivers must be particularly cautious around fallen trees or other obstacles in the water that permit water to pass through while retaining solid objects (people, gear, boats etc.). The current can push boats or swimmers toward the strainers, causing them to become entrapped. All paddlers must understand the potential risks of such obstacles, be able to recognize these hazards, and have the skills to avoid them.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are available at the 9-mile take out, as well as at the St. Georges Put-In. If you need a bathroom break half way, there are also restrooms available just up the trail from the Indian Painted Rocks put-in (NOTE: our shuttle does not service this area).

Transportation of Rental Equipment (Rentals Only)

We do not allow you to rent kayaks and transport them yourselves. We have the specific drop off location that we transport the kayaks to. Please do not take or transport the kayaks outside of the Little Spokane River Natural Area.

Fishing

Fishing is not allowed from any of our Kayaks. We are not a fishing outfitter.

Alcohol

Alcohol consumption is not allowed on our kayaks or in the Little Spokane River Natural Area.

Coolers

We do allow coolers on our Kayaks within a reasonable size. A small soft cooler is fine for lunch, snacks and water. They must not be full-size yeti coolers or any cooler that will interfere with the normal safe operation of the craft due to its size or weight. We do not inspect coolers, so you will be on the honor system! So please do not overdo it.

Swimming/PFDS

SWIMMING IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE LITTLE SPOKANE RIVER NATURAL AREA Keep in mind that this is a water sport, so you should expect to get wet. You have the potential of falling into the water so you should have the ability to swim. PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices or Life Jackets) should be worn at all times. In Spokane County it is the law, you must wear your PFD/life jacket while paddling the watercraft. You will be ticketed if the State Park Ranger or Sheriff sees you not wearing your PFD. This is for your safety and the moving water and other hazards on the Little Spokane should not be underestimated.

Please understand that our rentals are not intended to be diving or swimming platforms and your safety while on the water is your responsibility. Please remember swimming in the water on the Little Spokane River Natural Area is not allowed.

Cancellation Policy (Rentals Only)

You must cancel your kayak reservation 48 hours or more of your scheduled kayak trip to receive a full refund, minus tax and transaction fees. If you have a group (more than five kayaks) you must cancel at least 1 week in advance. If there is a weather-related issue on the day of your trip that causes us to be closed, we can work with you to reschedule or issue a refund.

Most Importantly

Most importantly if you feel like your age, physical health or mental condition may cause any harm to yourself or our staff please do not rent from us. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Also, if for any reason we feel that your age, physical, mental condition or behavior and attitude may put yourself, your group, other people, our equipment, property or staff in jeopardy, we will not rent to you.

Weather

Weather is a major factor when determining when to be open or closed. We do not put people on the water if there is lightning, high winds, tornadoes, hurricanes, torrential rain, fish die-offs, flooding, tsunamis, or any type of weather condition that could cause harm to you or your group. We will always take the side of safety.

We will definitely be closed if there are any of the following events.

  • Extreme Hazardous Winds
  • Thunder & Lightning
  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Rain
  • Flooding
  • Fish Die-Offs
  • Hail
  • Sleet
  • Snow
  • Alien invasion etc.

Please check the local area weather before making plans. Accuracy may vary. It is usually a good idea to check a couple of different sources for weather data. www.noaa.gov or www.weather.com are good resources.

Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics

  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of others

If you have any questions please call our office at 509.363.5414 or email rgriffith@spokanecity.org

Have a great day!