Cycling lifestyle in Spokane WA & its surrounding areas


I’m considering relocating to Spokane WA towards more financial stability. I live in UT (with two tweeners and wife) which is outstanding for cyclists. Looking for feedback on your experience there as a local or guest roadie.

I know the political climate has ruined certain areas of WA (my non-cycling friends who live there confirmed that). So please keep this civil (no need for dickness), and focus on pros and cons related to cycling, perhaps life in Spokane in general if you must. Thanks in advance.

Calling @T_Field - he knows the area.

Sorry for the distraction, we are looking at possibly moving to UT. Any particular areas of UT that are outstanding for road cyclists?

1 Like

I am in Post falls Idaho - just across the border from Spokane

Tons of cycling - road, mountain, gravel, triathlon, downhill. You name it we have it!
Mountains and lakes and some beautiful terrain to ride
A long Multi Use trail that stretches through town and over to CDA

Snow? 3 month of the year are pretty gross
August wild fires and the air quality is to bad to ride

The political climate isn’t any better or worse than anywhere else - its mostly that Seattle dictates the entire state and Spokane doesn’t get much of a say.


I grew up in adjacent Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls and moved away from the area a few years ago.

Overall, I’m going to say mediocre, but with one shining exception, which is the Centennial Trail. The trail runs from downtown Spokane to just past CDA, and is 85% dedicated rail to trail, with some short safe neighborhood sections. If you stick to the trail, you’ll enjoy your time.

I wasn’t into MTB at the time I lived there, but I have heard there is very good MTBing.
Weather wise, you’re really only getting 4 months of ‘nice’ riding, with another 2-3 mos of potentially cold and wet (which is my least favorite weather.) June through September can be stunning, though.

My dislike of riding in the area is the people, unfortunately. Want to road ride up in the two lane roads south of Post Falls or away from the city in Spokane? Get ready to be punish passed almost daily, late horns for no reason, or called names. It happened to me constantly. CDA and Spokane have okay-ish infrastructure, but you get the feeling that drivers simultaneously hate you for being on the road and hate that infrastructure gets ‘wasted’ on bikes.

I don’t think I’d say that Spokane/CDA is bad. It’s like a 6 out of ten. It’s good that, on an infrastructure level, the cities have shown they care about bikes. But there is a vocal and present minority of people who hate that you exist on a bike, and they will make it known, unfortunately. The vast majority of my riding in CDA/Spokane took place on the Centennial Trail as a result of it. The community is very dichotomous: CDA hosts an Ironman and there’s incredible community support for it, but there are also people who vocally hate the ‘outsiders’ who come into ‘their’ town all summer.


I live in the Spokane area. There’s lots of good cycling roads, both north, south east and west of the city itself. There are no long flat roads unless you head quite a ways west. Its a 4 season climate, so keep that in mind. I’m retired, so keep that in mind. I can’t comment directly on the schools.

1 Like

Where I live in Spokane county just north of town, I haven’t had bad experiences with drivers.

1 Like

Maybe Coach Chad will chime in. He moved here from Reno, and could give yet another perspective.


The “Wasatch Back” hands down!

The drivers here are mostly respectful to cyclists. Certainly better than CO in my experience.

1 Like

I live in Spokane. I’m up north, lots of great riding here IMHO. Have a fantastic HC climb up Mt. Spokane. 13.5 mile 3,900 feet of climbing. A large group rides up there on July 4th every year.

I’ll disagree with a poster above about the Centennial Trail. Up near me it’s a little lumpy, but it’s mostly flat. No cars sure but a pantload of pedestrians, strollers, runners, it gets very crowded once you’re out of downtown heading east towards Coeur d’ Alene. You can barely ride over 15 (the speed limit on the trail). It also effectively goes on for another 80 or so as it links up with the Idaho Centennial Trail.

I rarely have bad interactions with drivers but I ride out of my way to avoid most traffic and my tolerance for drivers and their stuff appears to be exceptionally high (comparatively speaking) so YMMV.

Incredible MTB. Wednesday night races in Riverside State Park, extremely well maintained acreage near the river; easy to get too, lots and lots of features.

Gravel out your ass. Farm roads over hill and dale till the cows come home.

4 seasons for sure but Spring and Fall are stunning. A note about weather I’ll sum it up with a quote;

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within

It’s all perspective, but I really enjoy the 4 distinct seasons. Summers are hot but fun (unless we get shit on with smoke from fires), Fall is chilly but cozy and Spring brings a tear to your eye it’s so beautiful. Avg over 50” of snow year down in the city, but you’re from Utah so that’ll be no problem.

Real estate prices are astronomical here now. Lots of people moving in from out of state paying stupid money for shit houses. I mean jaw dropping. We used to be known for cheap housing. Those days are gone.

I’ve lived in Portland OR, Seattle, Biloxi MS, Baltimore, SoCal, Okinawa, and the UK.

I’m never leaving again.

However, I’m basically a blue collar guy. Grew up here in the poorest zip code in the state. My HS barely had a 55% graduation rate, and I feel blessed with what I have but feel very very out of place with other cyclists. I grew up playing playground basketball in poor area and have a mouth to show for it (hops and first step are long gone) so I feel a touch…out of place among cyclists. Plus I’m new to the sport so I guess take my opinion with a grain of salt…

I believe the cycling here is underrated.


I lived on the South Hill in Spokane for a couple of years (2 years ago now). I’d usually ride south and hardly ever had issues with cars or people. The roads are nice in WA and many have shoulders. I’d mostly try to keep to smaller roads off the beaten path. Once you get out there you can find gravel roads so there are many possibilities for mixed surface riding.

I liked riding out through Riverside Park all the way to the dam. Camp Sekani was fun for mountain biking or going around there on my gravel bike. The Fish trail is quiet and can be combined with other rides. Getting through/past the center of Spokane on a bike can be tough. I found it hard to ride from the South Hill towards downtown and then get back on a safe road without too many cars though I did finally find some obscure routes.

The 2nd year we were there, there were tons of forest fires and I lost a month of the precious summer riding.

Around October I just put away my road bike because I didn’t want to slip and fall on leaves and I just road my gravel bike everywhere until it got too cold.

You really have to embrace the winter in Spokane so that you don’t go crazy. During snow storms I’d strap on XC skis and go do a workout in Manito Park. My 2nd winter there I joined the YMCA and that helped get me through the winter. We also started doing a kids XC ski program at Mt. Spokane so every Saturday for a few months we were on skis. I once saw a couple of guys going around Riverside park on fat bikes during the winter. If I had stayed longer I would have bought one just to have another winter option.

The only reason I wouldn’t willingly move back given a choice is the daily winter life. Raking leaves in the fall and shoveling snow all winter sucks IMO. :slight_smile: Don’t buy a house with a giant maple tree if you don’t want to rake up 50 bags of leaves! Taking my kid to school and almost slipping and falling on the icy sidewalk every day for months really sucked! I didn’t know what Yaktrax were. But if you are already used to winter life then ok.


I live south in Moscow ID (about ~1:30 from Spokane) but my wife went to school in Spokane so spent a lot of time there. The mountain biking is great, I would put Beacon Hill in the top 10 best “in town” riding in the country! Haven’t done a ton of road riding around Spokane, but down south near me is gravel heaven, miles, and miles of farm roads or forest service roads that are rough but the fun type of rough.

Growing up in sunny Colorado (very similar to sunny Utah) the first couple of winters were rough for me. The sun won’t come out for weeks, it will snow then immediately rain on top, freeze-thaw, etc. So prep yourself for that if you are used to the dry snow and sun of Utah winters.

1 Like

In regards to Utah… Plenty of riding across the area… just depends on where you want to be. All the canyons are epic.