Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
166.00 ft (50.60 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
2.10 mi (3.38 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Bowl and Pitcher Loop Trail is a 2.1-mile loop located in Spokane's Riverside State Park just 6.5 miles from downtown Spokane. The trail is easily accessible and an iconic Spokane-area hike due to the swinging bridge over the Spokane River and the monolithic basalt formations along its shore. The trail is adjacent to the Bowl and Pitcher Campsite, which offers access to 55 miles of trail in Riverside State Park.

To get to the trailhead from Downtown Spokane, take West Riverside Avenue to North Maple Street. Stay on North Maple for 1 mile until you reach West Maxwell Avenue. After taking a left onto West Maxwell, continue for 0.3 mile until the road curves to the right onto North Pettet Drive. Continue straight on this road for 4.4 miles. At this point, the Bowl and Pitcher Campground will be on the left. The campground does require a Washington State Discover Pass; make sure you pick one up from either the ranger station or the self-pay kiosk on the east side of the day-use parking area.

Take the paved path directly west of the parking area. The path will make a short descent to the edge of the Spokane River. Here you will cross the Bowl and Pitcher Swinging Bridge. On the right of the bridge, rising high above the water, are the enormous basalt formations that provide the trail its namesake. Once you've crossed the bridge and topped the wooden stairs on the other side, the trail will split in two directions. There should be a sign indicating you've reached trail 25.

Take trail 25 to the right and continue straight for 0.3 mile. Trail 25 will make a sharp right toward the riverbank, and trail 211 will continue straight. With this hike being a loop, you can choose either trail at this point. Trail 211 makes its way through forests of ponderosa, lodgepole pine, and Douglas fir. This portion of the hike navigates around large basalt outcroppings, some of which are used by local climbers. On the left of this trail and visible for a majority of the hike are tall basalt cliffs, which rise over much of the state park. At 0.9 mile, the trail should approach the river's shore, where trail 211 continues on, while trail 25 is directly parallel on the right of 211 at this junction.

Take the small path that connects the two trails then follow trail 25 south, beginning your return to the Bowl and Pitcher Swinging Bridge. Trail 25 should make a short descent even closer to the river's edge, then it will closely hug the riverbank. There are frequent wildlife sightings on this portion of the trail, from geese and marmot to deer and the occasional moose. This section of trail is considerably rockier than the previous half. Be cautious of the terrain and mindful of your footfall.

At around 1.6 miles, the basalt formations and the Bowl and Pitcher Swinging Bridge will come back into view. The trail makes its way along rocky cliffs and in between a couple of basalt outcroppings, and at 1.8 miles it arrives back at the first junction, completing the loop. To get back to the trailhead, take a left at this junction for 0.3 mile until you reach the wooden stairs and the west side of the bridge.

Riverside State Park is a popular recreational area for Spokane residents, and many trails are multi-use. Please use proper etiquette when sharing the trail with runners, bikers, horse riders, and other hikers.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Washington Discovery Pass

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Easily accessible and close to Downtown Spokane. Swinging bridge. Iconic Spokane hike.

Cons

Crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

1,999.00 ft (609.30 m)

Highest point

2,165.00 ft (659.89 m)

Net Elevation Gain

166.00 ft (50.60 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Historically significant
Fishing
Wildlife
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Shelters
Geologically significant
Horseback riding
Wildflowers
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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