Riverside State Park in Spokane County is one of my favorite places to take families. However, the catch is you need to walk a bit to get there. Would you walk 15 minutes to get to your spot for family photos?
When I work with clients in Spokane, WA, to pick the perfect location for their family photos, Deep Creek in Riverside State Park often comes to mind. Read more to discover if this spot could be the home for your next family photo experience in the Inland NW.
Deep Creek in Riverside State Park
First of all, Riverside State Park is pretty large. According to the Washington State Parks website, it’s about 9,000 acres big. So, there are many great opportunities to carve out a piece for your photos any season.
However, this post specifically looks at the section of Riverside known as Deep Creek. It’s an excellent sandy spot where Deep Creek meets the Spokane River. Deciduous trees, pine trees, sandy shorelines, jagged rocks, and a picturesque bridge all help this spot shine.
You’ll find Deep Creek right off the Centennial Trail in the northernmost section of Riverside State Park, just inside Nine Mile Falls. Fun fact, I lived in this area for seven years and can’t recommend it enough.
Why Family Photos at Deep Creek in Riverside Are Worth The Walk
I look for several things when choosing family photo locations – A variety of elements, engagement for kids, elbow room, dog-friendly, light, and accessibility.
As a family photographer in Spokane, this place is a dream to shoot in. When it comes to a variety of elements that are engaging for the whole family (dogs, too), Deep Creek checks the boxes. Very few locations can give you such a variety in one place.
While the light does drop earlier, it’s still gorgeous. Whether you want to shoot in the open when the sun sets or let it filter through the trees, this isn’t an area I worry about how the light will fall.
Bikers and hikers frequent Riverside State Park – However, this section where Deep Creek meets the Spokane River is rarely shared with other photographers. If you’re uncomfortable sharing space with other photographers and families, a more secluded spot like this helps moments unfold naturally.
4 Tips For Planning Family Photos With Walking Involved
- Arrive early. I always start these sessions an hour to 90 minutes earlier than average. Starting a bit earlier gives enough time to walk in and out of the area.
- Consider what everyone is wearing. Wear comfortable footwear to hike around in, and if needed, back separate shoes for the photos.
- Bring strollers or carriers for younger children.
- Pack dry snacks and water. Having snacks for kids is always a great idea, but even more when they must walk a bit. Be sure to bring dry ones that easily brush off clothes.
Who should skip Deep Creek in Riverside State Park for Family Photos?
As much as I love shooting here, the Deep Creek section of River Side State Park is not for every family.
This section of Riverside won’t be your dream location if you’re concerned about walking in for pictures. Unfortunately, this is a big one and hard to overlook. So ensure your entire family is OK with the distance before tackling Deep Creek.
Also, while there are many great things to photograph, this isn’t a manicured park with grassy areas to sit with your family. Parks and State Parks can be quite different.
Overall, this is one of my favorite spots to take families. If you’re up for a walk and have extra time to spend with your favorite photographer, you won’t be disappointed in the results.
For more location inspiration, check out a few more of my favorites –
Wherever you decide for your family photos, remember what matters most is the connection captured with your family. Locations are great, but you make the photograph, not the place.