I will start by saying that Spokane is not a must-visit location in Washington by any means. Ideally the next decade will see the city join the friendly, eco-loving, and not-so conservative rest of the PNW, but until then be prepared to hear a lot of bigotry and conservative radio damning the 90% of the world who is not meeting the WASP standard. But if for some reason you do end up in the eastern part of the state, there are some serious good finds hidden among the abyss that make it worth the trip.
General note: Watch your gear and car wherever you choose to go in Spokane, locals complained of broken windows and Park Rangers said theft is common
- Minnehaha – Located at John C Shields park and not at Minnehaha park that is down the street, there are 100+ boulders and dozens of trad/TR routes. The sport climbing is limited and you need several long slings to rig a safe anchor no matter what you climb, but it is easy to have a fun day out here and its only 15 minutes from downtown.
- McLellan – Multiple locals mentioned this as a top notch spot to skip the crowds and get some good climbing in, sadly we didn’t have time to add it to our weekend but its on the must for the next time back
- Mountainproject includes 8 more locations and since they already list them, I won’t bother considering I have no firsthand experience in the area
- Bloc Yard – Similar to the Circuit we have here in Portland area, and set by a former Circuit setter, Bloc Yard is a great bouldering gym to crush a few great problems and get kombucha on tap. Complete with a parking lot just 10 minutes from downtown, be sure to check out Groupon for regular deals before jumping on a route or two (we got our day pass for two with shoes for $21)
- Wild Walls – My friend has a regular membership and we did a quick tour after our pump at Bloc Yard. Sitting right on the edge of downtown, Wild Walls has some great rope options and a nice mezzanine workout area. The walls are at least 40 feet high, there is a sick crack, and a small bouldering cove. There is a yoga studio on the ground floor and the staff were quite friendly. They even host events like black out climbing (climbers just using headlamps) and it looks like they are in the works of further developing the space (they moved into an existing, shared building). Again check out Groupon for rotating deals (Last week there was $16 one week of climbing, rentals, yoga, and a basic climbing class)
Where to Crash
- We camped at Bowl & Pitcher for $20/night. From the campsite we were 20 minutes from 5 of the climbing sites, both gyms, downtown, and a 2 minute walk from the suspension bridge/hiking trails
- The nearest free camping is in the National Forest is just over an hour away
- The Nyne Bar & Bistro had a great Halloween party, with live music, cheap beer ($3.50) and a line out the door. Bartenders were friendly and the atmosphere was worth a revisit for sure
- Revolver is a a dive popular with college students that offers $1 domestic beers on Thursday nights just a few minutes from downtown
- Check out Brew Brothers for a cozy and friendly coffee shop downtown, but also be ready for the homeless to gather on the couches and discuss conservative politics while you want to enjoy your coffee racism free
Don’t want to eat the standard American food crap? Don’t worry, I got you covered.