Located on the Idaho/Washington border less than 100 miles from Canada, Spokane is a well-known northern city along the Spokane River and the Selkirk and Rocky Mountains. Its official nickname, Hooptown USA, refers to the annual Hoopfest, which is the largest basketball tournament in the world. But it is also known as the birthplace of Father’s Day because it was first thought of in 1909 by Sonora Dodd of Spokane.
The city has approximately 230,000 residents and was founded in 1873 by SR Scranton and JJ Downing, who were cattle ranchers that laid claim to a space in Spokane Falls. Today, Spokane Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the United States and a tourist attraction that brings in millions of visitors every year. Being a northern town, you can expect frigid winters and mild summers with lows in the 20s in January and highs in the lower 80s in July. There are more than 100 parks to explore, as well as some off-leash dog parks your fur puppy will love.
Browne’s Addition Dog Park
Browne’s Addition Dog Park is a cozy little pup play area where you can let your fur baby run around without a leash for a while. Although it is small, your dog will love running around with the other pups in the grassy lot between the Law Offices and Condos. It is cared for by local volunteers, so make sure you do your part to keep it clean and bring your own doggie bags if you have them. In fact, it would be nice to leave some extras for others.
Because it is such a small park, there is no sectioned-off space for small or large dogs. Everyone plays together, from tiny Terriers to huge Hounds, so if you have a small dog that is afraid of big dogs or vice versa, you may want to try a different park. Pet parents will find plenty of chairs you can move to wherever you like whether you want to sit in the shade or soak up some sun.
Cannon Hill Park
You can reach Cannon Hill Park in just a few minutes by car or even walk there from downtown. It is less than two miles to the south on South Lincoln Street. It does not have a designated doggie area where your cuddly canine can play off the leash, but the whole park is pup-friendly if your pup is on a leash. Cannon Hill Park used to be a brickyard in the 1880s, but when the clay for making bricks ran out, it became a park.
Although it is one of the smallest parks in Spokane, it is certainly worth a trip any day. The main attraction is the pond, which is home to many ducks and geese in the area. It is a peaceful place to meander along the water and let your pooch sniff all the new scents. For the little humans, there is a fun playground with slides, climbing, and swings. Don’t miss the awesome stone bridge where you can get some great selfies.
Coeur d’Alene Park
Coeur d’Alene was the city’s very first park and is a favorite of many locals and visitors alike. Just over a mile from downtown, this park is located just south of Browne’s Addition Dog Park. Your fur puppy is welcome to join you as long as he is properly restrained or leashed at all times. The park opened in 1883 and has four blocks totaling almost 10 acres. It was named after John Browne, who was a lawyer and real estate developer who donated the acreage to the city for recreational purposes.
Here, you and your fur baby can enjoy a barbecue or grab some food from one of the food trucks and have a seat at one of the picnic tables. The kiddos can play at the awesome park that has swings, monkey bars, and slides, and they even have a splash pad for cooling off in the summer. The park is also home to many events like concerts and festivals, as well as the Farmers’ Market.
Dawn to Dusk Doggy Domain Park
About 19 miles southeast of Spokane downtown, just past the Iller Creek Conservation Area, the Dawn to Dusk Doggy Domain Park offers private playtime for pups by appointment only. Yes, this is different than other parks by far for many reasons. First, you will have to set an appointment online. But that is a great idea so you do not get to the local dog park and have to wait or come back later because it is full!
Also, this is the perfect answer for those pup parents who have a shy or aggressive dog that needs to be socialized without worry or rebuke. The folks at Dawn to Dusk offer safe solutions to socializing with private visits held by expert professional dog handlers. They have two acres of thick grass, trees, and lots of toys as well as benches and a gazebo for the humans. The price is minimal, and is worth every dime to see your pooch so happy.
Downtown Spokane Dog Park
This small triangular pooch play area is perfect for small dogs to run around and play in the downtown area. Because Spokane only has a few dog parks, each one is important. Downtown Spokane Dog Park may be small, but it is very nice with a wrought iron fence and lush green grass with shaded seating. Even though there is no room for agility equipment or other fancy stuff, your canine companion will love being able to play off the leash here.
Obviously, because it is not big enough, there is no separation between large and small pups, so if your dog needs to be with his own size, you may want to skip this park. Or don’t! It is almost never crowded, and it is a great way to socialize your pooch to play with all breeds and sizes. Bring water and doggie bags. The park has poop bag dispensers, but you should be prepared in case they run out.
Edwidge Woldson Park
The lovely Edwidge Woldson Park can be found less than a mile south of downtown Spokane in Cliff Cannon between the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens and the Corbin Art Center. Many of the locals know it as Pioneer Park, but it was renamed in 2010 to honor the mother of Myrtle Woldson, who helped build up the area. It is said that you can get the best views of the city from here, and you will see many locals visit right before sunset to watch the sun go down.
Besides the gardens, which also include a tea house and pond, you can also take your fur puppy for a walk along Tiger Trail to Seventh Avenue. The park has several other trails that take you up to the bluff and through the rose gardens or deeper into the park and wooded area. Just make sure you keep your canine companion on a leash because there are a lot of wild creatures here, including turkeys and ducks.
Iller Creek Conservation Area
Also known as Dishman Hills Conservation Area, the Iller Creek Conservation Area is only about 10 miles southeast of downtown Spokane and features mountain trails, climbing, and fishing on 1,000 acres. Although it does not have a dog park per se, your fur puppy is welcome to join you as long as he is leashed. The 5.4-mile Iller Creek Trail is a moderately challenging loop hike that takes approximately three hours to finish. It is popular for biking and snowshoeing as well.
If you visit in the spring or summer, you will see valleys full of colorful wildflowers. During the fall you can see the gorgeous autumn colors of the trees. And the winter has some awesome snowshoeing that you and your pooch can explore and enjoy. The creek is a fun place to let your fur baby cool off in the summer or just sniff around during the cooler months.
James T. Slavin Conservation Area
In the Rosa Butte area of West Plains, just minutes from Spokane, James T. Slavin Conservation Area is pup-friendly as long as your pup is on a leash at all times. The 628-acre park has a mix of meadows, wetlands, forests, and ponds, as well as a five-acre lake for swimming, fishing, and boating. If you are a bird lover, this is perfect for you because there are more than 120 species of birds here, including woodpeckers, waterfowl, bald eagles, hawks, and even vultures.
Take a walk on the 4-mile loop trail for an easy hike that takes about an hour. Keep your pup on a leash, and do not let him get too close to any of the wildlife. Bring plenty of water for both you and your dog as well. Also, remember to bring plenty of poop baggies to pick up anything he drops. It is a stunning park no matter what time of the year you visit.
With close to 90 acres to enjoy, Manito Park is one of the oldest parks in the Spokane area, opened in 1904. Your leashed pooch can join you in the gardens as well as around the pond, and it is only two miles southeast of downtown Spokane. The gardens are the most popular attraction with five different themes including Ferris Perennial, Lilac, Rose Hill, Duncan, Japanese, and the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Gardens. All of these are pet-friendly as long as you keep him on a leash.
The park also features a cafe where you can grab some sandwiches and drinks for you and your cuddly buddy to enjoy at one of the many picnic tables, some of them around the pond. Speaking of the pond, it is called Mirror Pond because it reflects everything so nicely. It can be found in the northwestern corner of the park. There are also playgrounds for the kiddos, hiking and biking paths, and sledding during the winter.
Mount Spokane State Park
Known for its fantastic trails and scenery, Mount Spokane State Park has almost 14,000 acres for you and your pooch to play around in. It is just about 20 miles northeast of downtown Spokane and has a variety of great outdoor activities to enjoy. With approximately 100 acres of trails in the Selkirk Mountains, you can visit Mount Spokane, Day Mountain, and the Summit of Kit Carson to name a few. During the winter, there are 37 miles of skiing trails as well as cross-country skiing and ice skating.
If you need to rent skis, snowshoes, or anything else, Fit Fanatics Concessions has it all and then some. You can also grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby eating establishments. Just do not bring your pooch in without asking first. And always pack lots of doggie bags and water for the both of you. If you want to stay the night, you will have to be one of the lucky few who snag one of the eight first-come, first-served campsites.
You will not find a fenced off-leash dog area at Riverfront Park, but it does have some awesome fun stuff for you and your leashed fur baby to enjoy. This includes getting to see some fantastic sculptures as well as a carousel where you can get some stunning selfies. And this place is right in downtown Spokane on the Spokane River across from Canada Island. The park boasts 100 acres of beautiful space that used to be a railyard until the 1974 World’s Fair.
Be sure to stop and get some selfies at the Riverfront Rotary Fountain. It features five columns made from stainless steel that shoot water 24 feet into the air with 40 jets. The Looff Carrousel is also a sight to behold. It was hand-carved in 1909 with two Chinese dragons, a tiger, a giraffe, and 54 horses. Then, feed the Garbage Goat between the carousel and the big red wagon. The steel statue ingests small pieces of trash with its vacuum stomach. Just press the button.
Riverside State Park
Just about six miles northwest of Riverfront Park, Riverside State Park has over 14,000 acres of recreational space to explore and enjoy with your cuddly canine companion. It is only 15 minutes from the city proper and is the second-largest park in the state of Washington. It is also the trailhead of the famous 40-mile Centennial Trail, which you can follow all the way to McEuen Park in Idaho! In fact, there is also a small dog park there.
You and your fur puppy can also enjoy the Little Spokane River, where you can do some swimming, fishing, and boating if you like. They also have 32 campsites, but you better book early because it is one of the most popular parks in Washington. Picnic areas and a log-cabin kitchen shelter are also available for those who plan to barbecue or bring in some food. But remember your doggie bags and extra water.
Spokane Valley Dog Park
Also known as Valley Mission Dog Park, this was the first dog park in Spokane Valley and has been a hit since it opened in 2016! Spokane Valley Dog Park is just a few minutes from downtown Spokane and has all sorts of amenities. You can find it on East Mission Avenue by North Bowdish Road in the southeastern corner of Valley Mission Park. It is a fairly large park and has a separate area for small dogs 30 pounds and under.
SpokAnimals Dog Park
If you have a pooch that needs lots of room to roam, SpokAnimal’s Dog Park has 11 acres of play space for your canine companion to explore and enjoy. Little pups have their own space to play so those with big-dog anxiety will still feel comfortable playing while they are there. The small dog section is almost as large as the big dog section too! Both sections also have waste stations with poop bags as well as water fountains for dogs and humans.
You have plenty of seating choices, too. A local Boy Scout troop made and distributed dozens of picnic tables to the park as well so you can relax and watch your fur buddy play. With 11 acres, if your dog does not have good recall, you may want to consider keeping him on a leash just in case. That is a lot of area to search for your furry family member!
Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge
Although most national wildlife refuges are strict about not allowing dogs, Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge welcomes your cuddle buddy as long as he is leashed at all times. It is only 22 miles southwest of Spokane in the small community of Cheney and has 23,000 acres of wetlands and forests to explore. The ponderosa pines are tall and stately, giving the local wildlife plenty of hiding spaces. But you will most likely see at least some squirrels and rabbits, so keep your pooch near you.
There are more than 10 miles of trails where you can see all the different habitats, as well as a boardwalk along Blackhorse Lake. If you are quiet (and if you can keep your pup quiet), you may be able to catch a view of elk, deer, or moose in the woods. Be sure you pack plenty of doggie bags, and do not forget to bring water for both of you.
The Final Woof
If the weather is not cooperating or you just need a break from the dog parks, take your cuddly canine companion on a trip to the Spokane Valley Country Store. As long as your pup is on a leash, you can take him shopping or just browsing at this fun shop. They have everything from pet food to toys! Another fantastic place to bring your pooch for a shopping trip is North 40 Outfitters. They have clothing, tools, food, and even pet supplies. Ready for a cold one? Whistle Punk Brewing will let you and your leashed dog enjoy a tour, and then you can try one of their many different kinds of beer on tap.