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Spokane, the Lilac City, is the hub of the Inland Northwest. It is the second largest city in Washington State and the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis and between Calgary and Salt Lake City. It is 18 miles west of the Idaho Panhandle and 110 miles south of British Columbia, Canada. Approximately half a million people live in the city and metropolitan area.

The City of Spokane Falls Before 1800, the area which is now Spokane was a favorite Spokane Indian fishing grounds. The powerful falls on the Spokane River was the focus of their settlement. In 1872, the first white settlement was established in Spokane. The City of Spokane Falls was incorporated on November 29, 1881, and in 1891 renamed Spokane. Since its founding, Spokane has been the economic and civic capital of the Inland Northwest.


The topography of the area around Spokane varies from rolling wheat fields to snowcapped mountains, from lush forests to deserts, and from pristine lakes to raging rivers. Spokane has more than 170 days of sunshine each year. Its annual precipitation is 16.71 inches and annual snowfall is 51.6 inches. The humidity ranges from 77 percent in January to 28 percent in August. The average temperature ranges from 25.6 F in January to 69.7 F in July. The mean wind speed is 8.8 mph. Spokane is a four-season region; with each season contributing an opportunity to enjoy outdoor life.


Spokane is home to the Spokane Chiefs Hockey Team, the Spokane Indians Baseball Team, the Spokane Shock Arena Football team, the Spokane Polo Club, and the Spokane Shadow Soccer Team. It has 7 major hospitals, 18 golf courses, 55 tennis courts, 8 public swimming pools, 28 athletic clubs, 40 handball/racquetball facilities, 12 bowling alleys, and 4 skating rinks. Within a day's drive are 24 ski resorts, 5 of which are within 100 miles. Within 50 miles are 76 lakes and 4 major rivers. This allows for the best in fishing, water skiing, sailing, swimming, wind surfing, rafting, and other water-related activities.

Every year in May, Spokane hosts Bloomsday, the world's largest, timed road race. Over 60,000 runners, joggers, and walkers pass through the streets of Spokane and along this scenic 12K course. May also brings the city's week-long Lilac Festival which culminates with the famous Armed Forces/Torchlight Parade.


The city and county are proud of their many parks and public buildings. Over 60 parks are maintained for all types of interests.

  • Riverfront Park, in the center of the city, was the former site of EXPO '74. It spans the Spokane River with over 53 acres of greenery, cascading waterfalls, and amphitheaters. It is a center for entertainment and community activities and serves as home for the historic Looff Carrousel.
  • The Finch Arboretum has an extensive botanical and tree garden with more than 2,000 labeled ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowers.
  • Manito Park, on the South Hill, is noted for its 18th century styled Duncan gardens, Conservatory, Rose Gardens and Japanese Gardens.
  • The Spokane County ORV Park has motocross, sand drags, go-kart track, tractor pulls, and 4x4 pits.
  • Riverside State Park has over 100 acres of scenic beauty, with 101 camp sites, horseback riding, and hiking trails.
  • Along with all the other city and county parks, there are 12 national parks within a day's drive.

In addition, citizens can enjoy the Ag-Trade Center, the The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, the Spokane Civic Theater, and the Spokane Opera House.

Spokane River North of SFCC

Spokane River

Spokane Falls Community College sits above the Spokane River. Just north of the college, the river flows through neighboring Riverside State Park. Running through the park along the river is the paved Centennial Trail which is 12 feet wide and runs for 39 miles. Closed to motorized traffic, it is reserved for runners, walkers, and bicyclists.

There is a special parallel path for horses along parts of the trail. It begins at the confluence of the Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers. It follows the Spokane River through the City of Spokane east to the Washington/Idaho border where it meets the 23-mile North Idaho Centennial Trail. Along its route the trail passes four institutions of higher education: Spokane Falls Community College, Gonzaga University, Spokane Community College, and the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute.

Spokane Area Links

Check out these links for more information about Spokane and the surrounding area.

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