Monday, March 26, 2012

Lake Spokane, Spokane County, Washington

From Nine Mile Dam to Lake Spokane Dam

Lake Spokane (also known as Long Lake) is a 25-mile 5020 acre reservoir, running between Nine Mile Falls Dam and Lake Spokane Dam to the west. The reservoir called Lake Spokane is created by Spokane Dam (also known as Long Lake Dam). It was constructed in 1915 and holds the elevation of the lake throughout the summer months,  but is drawn down in January. Lake Spokane is open year-round. On the lake are several resorts and a DNR camp and boat launch site off Nine Mile Falls road. This is a great boating lake for all types of water sports, but caution should be taken along the shore of this lake due to old  stumps (mostly on the east end of the lake) and out in the lake where logs can be floating (particularly in the spring). This lake is also great for sailing due to the wind that funnels down the lake. At times though, the winds can swirl off the canyon walls; otherwise the sailing conditions aren't bad. Using larger boats on this lake with deep drafts is best suited near the Dam due to the deeper depths and suitable launch.

GOOGLE MAP... Zoom in and out, move around on the map to see all there is to see :)

View Lake Spokane/Long Lake, WA. in a larger map

Fishing: The lake supports populations of rainbow trout, northern pike, minnow, and bridgelip suckers., as well as several non-native species. It supported several species of salmon until 1915 when the construction of Long Lake Dam (known today as Lake Spokane Dam - created by Washington Water Power) blocked upstream passage. Info: River Side State Park info can be found at http://www.riversidestatepark.org/  Click here for Spokane River water levels - http://www.avistautilities.com/environment/ourpart/recreation

BOAT LAUNCHES AND ACCESS POINTS


1. Lake Spokane Boat Launch

This is a popular launch for fishermen wanting to fish near the dam and the confluence of the Little Spokane River. This part of the river reservoir is narrow and shallow. Water levels vary greatly in this area due to the shallow nature of this part of the river/reservoir and adjustments made to the water level at Lake Spokane Dam. There tends to be a lot of wildlife in this area, particularly Moose and water foul. Directions: At the East end of the lake take the road leading northward from Highway 291 (Nine Mile Road) just south of the Little Spokane River Bridge, past a few houses to the boat launch. Just before the paved launch there is an informal take-out-site for non-motorized craft from the Little Spokane River. After this site just a short distance is the paved launch into the Lake Spokane/Spokane River. It has a dock, and a concrete ramp, with space to park dozens of vehicles and trailers. A vault restroom is located nearby.  Caution!  The above picture shows how shallow this launch is and just above the dock (down river) in the background of this picture you can barely see 25 tree stumps that are exposed during low water but then during high water are just under the surface of the water. During high water these stumps are underwater which is not such a big deal for kayaks but is a big deal for powerboat props. There are also rocky sandbars in this area. In a power boat it is best to leave this launch and go straight across to the opposite side of the river near the river bank to get into the river channel and then head down river to avoid the stumps. Follow the buoys to stay in the channel, but be aware that the buoys do not always stay where they belong, and the hazards are constantly changing. There is a fee of $5 to use the launch.  No wake is allowed between Nine Mile Dam and the confluence of the Little Spokane River just down river of this launch. Use the Nine Mile Resort Launch as an alternative if you feel you need more depth to launch. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut; From I-90 Westbound – Take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St.; Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn slightly left onto N. Nine Mile Rd./HWY 291. Turn left onto N. Shoemaker Ln. Follow this road a short distance to the boat launch and park. Maps: To view a map click on the following link http://www.mapquest.com and type Spokane, WA. On I90 locate Exit 280 and follow above directions to view the launch & parking.


2. Nine Mile Resort

This park is owned and managed by the Department of Natural Resources. It has a paved boat launch with dock, swimming beach, and 12 campsites. It's a nice alternative to the launch (Lake Spokane Boat Launch) just up river of this site, which is too shallow for skis or deeper draft boats. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut; From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St. Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn left onto N. Nine Mile Rd. Turn left onto W. Charles Rd. Up this road a couple miles you will see a sign to the park on you left. Maps: To view a map click on the following link http://www.mapquest.com and type Spokane, WA. On I90 locate Exit 280 and follow above directions to view the parking area/river access. 9711 W. Charles Road, Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026 is the address of the Nine Mile Falls Dam. The resort park is just a short distance past the dam.


3. Tumtum Lake Access Point

There is no longer access to the reservoir from the city of Tumtums resort anymore, but just west of this town there is a site next to the road where one can portage over the bank into the water. No camping is allow at this site but fishing from the bank or launching over the bank is legal. Do not attempt to back a boat trailer over the bank; you will get stuck and if caught will get a ticket, too. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut. From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St.; Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn slightly left onto N. Nine Mile Rd. Nine Mile Rd. becomes HWY 291. Follow this Highway through the city of Tumtum to the river/reservoir access site. This access site has two wide gravel parking areas on the left side of the river/reservoir as shown in the picture. Maps: To view a map click on the following link http://www.mapquest.com and type Spokane, WA. On I90 locate Exit 280 and follow above directions to view the launch & parking.


4. DNR Lake Spokane Campground and Boat Launch

This is the only paved launch on the west end of the lake and is well suited for deeper draft boats such as keelboats. This park has campsites and RV sites, restrooms, swimming area, lots of parking, and picnic areas. Go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov for current park usage rates. This area of the lake is well suited for sailing and water skiing. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut. From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St.. Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn slightly left onto N. Nine Mile Rd. Nine Mile Rd. becomes HWY 291. Follow this Highway through the city of Tumtum toward HWY 231. There is a large Department of Natural Resource sign indicating Lake Spokane Campground. Maps: To view a map click on the following link http://www.mapquest.com and type Spokane, WA. On I90 locate Exit 280 and follow the above directions to view the launch & park.


5. Avista Access

To access this site there is a small parking area with no restrooms next the HWY 291. It is about a 2 mile hike down a wide gravel road to the reservoir. One will need a dolly to portage a kayak or canoe down the road or strong arms and back to get to the reservoir. There is about a 7% grade on the gravel road for several hundred feet to the waters edge. Once at the waters edge there is a picnic area and double bay like area with beaches, and a small gravel point that extends into the reservoir. No camping or fires are allowed. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut. From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St. Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn slightly left onto N. Nine Mile Rd. Nine Mile Rd. becomes HWY 291. Follow this Highway through the city of Tumtum almost to HWY 231. There is an Avista gravel parking lot on the left side of the road. On the right side of the road you will pass Chamokane St. which is almost across the road from this site and a good indicator that you are about there. Maps: To view a map click on the following link http://www.mapquest.com and type Spokane, WA. On I90 locate Exit 280 and follow the above directions to view the launch & parking.

Lake Spokane/Long Lake Dam Avista Overlook

This is a beautiful overlook to view the dam. Looking eastward one can see Lake Spokane; looking southwest one can see the Spokane River below the dam. This site is not accessible to wheelchairs due to the steps to the viewing area. There are no restrooms or running water at this site, or access to the river. Directions: In the city of Spokane, WA., from I-90 Eastbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn left onto Walnut. From I-90 Westbound, take Exit 280 (Maple St) and turn right onto S. Walnut St. Turn slightly left onto Maple Street Bridge. Stay straight to go onto N. Maple St. Turn left onto W. Northwest Blvd. Turn right onto N. Cochran St. N. Cochran St. becomes N. Driscoll Blvd. Turn slight left onto N. Nine Mile Rd. Nine Mile Rd. becomes HWY 291. Follow this Highway through the city of Tumtum almost to HWY 231 and you will come to the Avista Dam overlook. Maps: To view a map click on the following link http://www.mapquest.com and type Spokane, WA. On I-90 locate Exit 280 and follow above directions to view the launch & parking.

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