Have you really lived in Spokane if you haven’t posted one or 100 pictures of the swinging bridge at Bowl and Pitcher in Riverside State Park?
I’d guess if you’re a Spokane native, I’m not telling you about a “hidden” secret with this post. However, maybe you’re new to Spokane or possibly need a reminder about one of the cool things out of your back door. Riverside State Park’s Bowl and Pitcher is a photographic, dog-friendly must-visit place right inside of Spokane.
The Swinging Bridge
Like many of Riverside State Park structures, the impressive suspension bridge going over the Bowl and Pitcher area of the river was built during the Great Depression in 1940 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Affectionately known as the “Swinging Bridge” to Spokane residents, this structure still stands today. While it doesn’t truly swing, you can feel the sway when you go across. Dogs especially take this quite carefully the first few times.
Dog Bridge Etiquette – Check out who is coming across the bridge. If you can, let another dog pass before jumping on. There isn’t exactly a lot of room to get out of the way.
Bowl and Pitcher, Spokane Photographer’s Haven
This place is a favorite among Spokane family photographers. Come here during golden hour (1 hour before sunset), and you’re sure to see a few of us out and about. For a good reason, too. It’s not just the bridge that is the draw, but there are several excellent spots for your next family or pet session.
Take photos by the river, on the bridge, or the trail, all within a 15-minute walk. I highly recommend people here when they aren’t quite sure where to go. It checks all the boxes.
Bowl and Pitcher Hiking
There are some great options for hiking all around this section of Riverside State Park. Check out this relatively easy, 2.1 mile trail, Bowl and Pitcher Loop. The path is wide and easy to navigate. Great views are free of charge.
Deer, and even moose, frequent this area. If you sit still long enough on a quiet day, you can often catch a glimpse of them.
On a 1-5 scale, Spokane’s Bowl and Pitcher area comes in 3-4 out of 5 for being dog-friendly. Family-friendly, that’s a 5 for sure.
Why? It does get crowded on weekends and evenings, and the bridge itself can be tough to navigate for scared dogs (people too). That’s my only word of caution. Other than that, I’d say grab your leash and hit the trail.
- Discover Pass is required, and they can be purchased at the booth on your way in or online.
- Lots of great camping here. It fills up fast for weekends, so book in advance. The first loop gets crowded, but the lower loop is a bit quieter.
I hope you liked hearing about Bowl and Pitcher! Check out Mt Spokane while you’re here. It’s another fantastic, must-do spot in Spokane.