City Escape: Spokane, Washington

Text: Tim Kessel • Photography: Tim Kessel

Spanning two states and some of the most beautiful real estate in the nation, this Spokane, WA, City Escape is truly memorable. Best ridden in spring through fall, the route flanks the banks of miles of pristine lakes and rivers. Evergreens, water, curves, and views rule the day on this loop ride.

Length

Approximately 165 miles

Meet-up Spot

Molly’s Family Restaurant, 224 S Lincoln St, Spokane, WA

Lunch Stop

Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers’ cooked-to-order food is bested only by its award-winning cones, shakes, and malts. Find it at 1224 E Sherman Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID, (208) 930-4900.

Scenery (5 out of 5)

The combination of deep blue water, vibrant green foliage, and opportunities to get off the bike for short picturesque hikes make this one of the more visually spectacular day rides. In addition to the heavily forested sections, there are also miles of panoramic grasslands that add to the scenic smorgasbord. 

Traffic (4 out of 5)

While there can be heavy traffic in Spokane and around Coeur d’Alene, most of the ride is only lightly to moderately congested. There are lakeshore hot spots where traffic can be a bit more frenetic in the summer. 

Difficulty (4 out of 5)

This route is extremely varied. It includes two-lane, freeway, city, and rural riding. The curves are frequent and challenging in stretches. Be vigilant in watching for wildlife.

Road Conditions (4 out of 5)

The tarmac is remarkably well maintained overall. However, on many of the lakeshore stretches, there is a very small or non-existent shoulder, so lane placement is important. 

Points of Interest

  1. Heyburn State Park: This is the oldest state park in the Pacific Northwest, dating back to 1908. Like the rest of this ride, Heyburn is varied and spectacular, with towering pines, grassy vistas, and the beautiful 600-acre Chatcolet Lake. parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/
parks/heyburn
  2. Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail: As mentioned earlier, there are ample opportunities on this escape to get off the bike for short hikes. Mineral Ridge is a trail that gives great views of Beauty Bay and Wolf Lodge Bay in Lake Coeur d’Alene. www.americantrails.org
  3. Manito Park: This is a “don’t-miss” in Spokane. The 90-acre public park offers manicured gardens, topiary shrubs, and a plethora of other flora and fauna. Walking through it is a perfect way to reflect on a great ride. www.manitopark.org