Saturday, October 29, 2016

Lake Spokane, Spokane County, Washington

From Nine Mile Dam to Lake Spokane Dam
Lake Spokane 
Lake Spokane (also known as Long Lake or Spokane Lake) is a 25-mile 5020 acre reservoir, running between Nine Mile Falls Dam and Lake Spokane Dam to the west. The reservoir called Lake Spokane is created by Spokane Dam (also known as Long Lake Dam). It was constructed in 1915 and holds the elevation of the lake throughout the summer months,  but is drawn down in January. Lake Spokane is open year-round. On the lake are several resorts and a DNR camp and boat launch site off Nine Mile Falls road. This is a great boating lake for all types of water sports, but caution should be taken along the shore of this lake due to old  stumps (mostly on the east end of the lake) and out in the lake where logs can be floating (particularly in the spring). This lake is also great for sailing due to the wind that funnels down the lake. At times though, the winds can swirl off the canyon walls; otherwise the sailing conditions aren't bad. Using larger boats on this lake with deep drafts is best suited near the Dam due to the deeper depths and suitable launch.

INTERACTIVE GOOGLE MAP COMING SOON!

Fishing: The lake supports populations of rainbow trout, northern pike, minnow, and bridgelip suckers., as well as several non-native species. It supported several species of salmon until 1915 when the construction of Long Lake Dam (known today as Lake Spokane Dam - created by Washington Water Power) blocked upstream passage. Info: River Side State Park info can be found at http://www.riversidestatepark.org  Click here for Spokane River water levels and recreational info at the Avista Utilities website http://bit.ly/2lTNpym


BOAT LAUNCHES AND ACCESS POINTS


Pic shows no water at dock when Lake/Reservoir is drawn down
1. Lake Spokane Boat Launch
This is a popular launch for fishermen wanting to fish near the dam and the confluence of the Little Spokane River. This part of the river reservoir is narrow and shallow. Water levels vary greatly in this area due to the shallow nature of this part of the river/reservoir and adjustments made to the water level at Lake Spokane Dam. There tends to be a lot of wildlife in this area, particularly Moose and waterfowl. Directions: At the East end of the lake take the road leading northward from Highway 291 (Nine Mile Road) just south of the Little Spokane River Bridge, past a few houses to the boat launch. Just before the paved launch there is an informal take-out-site for non-motorized craft from the Little Spokane River. After this site just a short distance is the paved launch into the Lake Spokane/Spokane River. It has a dock, and a concrete ramp, with space to park dozens of vehicles and trailers. A vault restroom is located nearby.  Caution!  The above picture shows how shallow this launch is and just above the dock (down river) in the background of this picture you can barely see 25 tree stumps that are exposed during low water but then during high water are just under the surface of the water. During high water these stumps are underwater which is not such a big deal for kayaks but is a big deal for powerboat props. There are also rocky sandbars in this area. In a power boat it is best to leave this launch and go straight across to the opposite side of the river near the river bank to get into the river channel and then head down river to avoid the stumps. Follow the buoys to stay in the channel, but be aware that the buoys do not always stay where they belong, and the hazards are constantly changing. There is a fee of $5 launch fee (price may go up). No wake is allowed between Nine Mile Dam and the confluence of the Little Spokane River just downriver of this launch. Use the public Nine Mile Resort Launch as an alternative if you feel you need more depth to launch. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut; From I-90 Westbound – Take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St.; Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn slightly left onto N. Nine Mile Rd./HWY 291. Turn left onto N. Shoemaker Ln. Follow this road a short distance to the boat launch and park. Maps: To view a map click on the following link google.com/maps and type Spokane, WA. On I90 locate Exit 280 and follow above directions to view the launch & parking.
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Large paved parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... No paved paths, but paved parking lot serves as path to launch and dock; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES… One fully accessible restroom, picnic area, open grassy areas; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments. DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… One accessible dock next to launch; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; CAMPING... None; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Nothing unusual; Terrain: Level to about 2% grade; H2O/Water: Water normally murky. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degrees. Extreme current can develop in this area. Beware of sudden increases in lake levels via Dam up or down the lake. At late fall and during the winter the reservoir is drawn down and this launch facility has no water around launch and dock; Environmental Conditions: Nothing unusual. River like conditions in early spring and late fall; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in the town of Lakeside.



2. Nine Mile Resort
This park is owned and managed by the Department of Natural Resources. It has a paved boat launch with dock, swimming beach, and 12 campsites. It's a nice alternative to the launch (Lake Spokane Boat Launch) just up river of this site, which is too shallow of a launch for larger boats. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut; From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St. Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn left onto N. Nine Mile Rd. Turn left onto W. Charles Rd. Up this road a couple miles you will see a sign to the park on you left. Maps: To view a map click on the following link google.com/maps and type Spokane, WA. On I90 locate Exit 280 and follow above directions to view the parking area/river access. 9711 W. Charles Road, Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026 is the address of the Nine Mile Falls Dam. The resort park is just a short distance past the dam.
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Large paved parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... No specific trails or path, there there are sidewalks; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES… One fully accessible restroom, picnic area, swim area, open grassy areas; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments. DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… One accessible dock next to paved launch; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices, however one utilizing a wheelchair can get close to the water via the beach. Once at the beach with assistance its possible to get into the water; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; CAMPING... 12 campsites; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Nothing unusual; Terrain: Level to about 2% grade; H2O/Water: Water normally murky. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degrees. Extreme current can develop in this area. Beware of sudden increases in lake levels via Dam up or down the lake. At late fall and during the winter the reservoir is drawn down and this launch facility has no water around launch and dock; Environmental Conditions: Nothing unusual. River like conditions in early spring and late fall; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas within town of Lakeside.


3. Tumtum Lake Access Point
There is no longer access to the reservoir from the city of Tumtum Resort anymore, but just west of this town there is a site next to the road where one can portage over the bank into the water. No camping is technically not allowed at this site, however those with RV's are regularly seen camping at this site. Fishing from the bank or launching over the bank is legal. Do not attempt to back a boat trailer over the bank; you will get stuck and if caught will get a ticket. The bank is steep. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut. From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St.; Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn slightly left onto N. Nine Mile Rd. Nine Mile Rd. becomes HWY 291. Follow this Highway through the city of Tumtum to the river/reservoir access site. This access site has two wide gravel parking areas on the left side of the river/reservoir as shown in the picture. Maps: To view a map click on the following link google.com/maps and type Spokane, WA. On I90 locate Exit 280 and follow above directions to view the launch & parking.
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Large gravel parking area between road and reservoir; PATHS/TRAILS... None; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES… One fully accessible restroom, picnic area, open grassy areas; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments. DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… None; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; CAMPING... None; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Steep bank; Terrain: Level to about 10% grade or more; H2O/Water: Water normally murky. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degrees. Extreme current can develop in this area. Beware of sudden increases in river levels via Dam up or down the lake. At late fall and during the winter the reservoir is drawn resulting in mud/sandbars appearing; Environmental Conditions: Nothing unusual. River like conditions in early spring and late fall; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas within the town of Lakeside.



4. DNR Lake Spokane Campground and Boat Launch
This is the only paved launch on the west end of the lake and is well suited for deeper draft boats such as keelboats. This park has campsites and RV sites, restrooms, swimming area, lots of parking, and picnic areas. Is closed during the winter, etc. Go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov for current park usage rates. This area of the lake is well suited for sailing and water skiing. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut. From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St.. Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn slightly left onto N. Nine Mile Rd. Nine Mile Rd. becomes HWY 291. Follow this Highway through the city of Tumtum toward HWY 231. There is a large Department of Natural Resource sign indicating Lake Spokane Campground. Maps: To view a map click on the following link google.com/maps and type Spokane, WA. On I90 locate Exit 280 and follow the above directions to view the launch & park.
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Large paved parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... There are paved paths to restroom, picnic areas, and near small muddy beach area; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES… One fully accessible restrooms, picnic area, open grassy areas, swim area; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments. DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… One accessible dock between two launch pads; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices. Only access to the water is via boat ramps as the rest of the facilities is surrounded by a cement retaining wall other than at the sand/mud beach/swim area.; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; CAMPING... Accessible camp & RV sites; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Nothing unusual other than cement retaining along the shore around almost the entire facility; Terrain: Level to about 4% grades in launch facility and park area. Camping area is level to 4% grades. However the road between the camp area and launch facility has a large hill of about 6% grade; H2O/Water: Water normally murky. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degrees. Extreme current can develop in this area. Beware of sudden increases in river levels via Dam up or down the lake. At late fall and during the winter the reservoir is drawn down and this launch facility has little water to launch into; Environmental Conditions: Nothing unusual. River like conditions in early spring and late fall; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas within the town of Lakeside.


5. Avista Access
To access this site there is a small gravel parking area with no restrooms next the HWY 291. It is about a 2 mile hike down a wide gravel road to the reservoir. One will need a dolly to portage a kayak or canoe down the road or strong arms and back to get to the reservoir. There is about a 7% grade on the gravel road for several hundred feet to the water's edge. Once at the water's edge there is a picnic area and double bay like area with beaches, and a small gravel point that extends into the reservoir. No camping or fires are allowed. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut. From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St. Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn slightly left onto N. Nine Mile Rd. Nine Mile Rd. becomes HWY 291. Follow this Highway through the city of Tumtum almost to HWY 231. There is an Avista gravel parking lot on the left side of the road. On the right side of the road you will pass Chamokane St. which is almost across the road from this site and a good indicator that you are about there. Maps: To view a map click on the following link google.com/maps and type Spokane, WA. On I90 locate Exit 280 and follow the above directions to view the launch & parking.
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Small gravel parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... Wide gravel road like path to the reservoir. When you get close to the reservoir its about a 7% grade to the reservoir for about a mile distance; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES… None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments. DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… None; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; CAMPING... None; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Nothing unusual; Terrain: Level to about 7% grade; H2O/Water: Water normally murky. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degrees. Extreme current can develop in this area. Beware of sudden increases in river levels via Dam just west of this site. At late fall and during the winter the reservoir is drawn down and this beach facility goes from sand to mud as you head down to the water. Mud can be very deep; Environmental Conditions: Nothing unusual. River like conditions in early spring and late fall. Caution as this site is just west of the Lake Spokane Dam; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas within town of Lakeside.

Lake Spokane Dam Avista Overlook
This is a beautiful overlook to view the dam. Looking eastward one can see Lake Spokane (also known as Long Lake or Spokane Lake); looking southwest one can see the Spokane River below the dam. This site is not accessible to wheelchairs due to the steps to the viewing area. There are no restrooms or running water at this site, or access to the river. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut. From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St. Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn slight left onto N. Nine Mile Rd. Nine Mile Rd. becomes HWY 291. Follow this Highway through the city of Tumtum almost to HWY 231 and you will come to the Avista Dam overlook. Maps: To view a map click on the following link google.com/maps and type Spokane, WA. On I-90 locate Exit 280 and follow above directions to view the launch & parking.
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Large paved parking lot, with designated accessible parking spaces; PATHS/TRAILS... Wide paved path to Dam overlook; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES… None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments. CAMPING... None; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Nothing unusual; Terrain: Level to about 3% grade; Environmental Conditions: Nothing unusual; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas within TumTum.

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