Spokatopia festival returns this week

Jun. 8—Mountain bikers will get a chance to test out new rides and take advantage of a shuttle up Beacon Hill next weekend at one of Spokane’s top outdoor festivals.

The Spokatopia Outdoor Adventure Festival is set for Friday and Saturday at Camp Sekani Park.

Bike shops will be on hand with dozens of e-bikes, mountain bikes and gravel bikes for attendees to test out. A special shuttle will give riders a chance to get the thrill of downhill runs without the pain of pedaling uphill first. There will be lessons for kids and a Saturday morning Poker Ride.

Derrick Knowles, one of the organizers of the event, said there will also be slacklines, hammocks and events for kids that will make the two-day extravaganza a draw for more than just those who love two-wheeled travel.

“We have a ton of stuff going on for kids and families,” Knowles said.

Knowles and his wife Shallan, who publish OutThere Outdoors magazine, founded the festival in 2015, and it has since become a summer staple.

The festival began as a celebration of mountain biking and watersports, and it typically happened in July.

This year, it’s been moved up a month, to the middle of June. Knowles said they made the change because the past few festivals took place on days with temperatures over 90 degrees — tough riding weather.

June usually means high water on the Spokane River, though, so they scuttled the kayaking and paddleboarding portions of the event.

“Because the river levels are a little high around then for flat-water water sports, we kind of scaled it back to just focus on mountain biking, which is why most people come,” Knowles said.

Several local bike shops are planning to take part in the event, offering bikes for riders to demo. The shops participating include North Division Bicycle, Shred Sports and The Bike Hub.

Knowles added that Northwest Pivot bikes will be available, offering people a chance to test out a few dozen models of e-bikes, traditional mountain bikes and gravel bikes.

The event will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, with shuttles to the top of the Sekani trail system beginning at 5:30.

The festival will open back up at 9 a.m. Saturday, starting with the Poker Ride, which will give participants a chance to race and win prizes.

Riders will travel up Beacon Hill and pick up cards at various stops. When they get to the bottom, they’ll record their poker hand, and the best hands will give people a chance to win gear from Outdoor Research and local bike shops.

In all, the ride will include 8 to 10 miles of riding with 800 feet of climbing.

At 1:30 p.m., there will be a mountain bike jump show.

Kids will have a variety of activities to choose from on Saturday, including a pump track on which to test their skills. They can bring their own bike or try one of the demo bikes available through Evergreen East. There will also be two-hour bike camps and a nature camp, and two Bugs ‘n’ Snakes presentations including live insects and reptiles.

Proceeds from a beer garden will benefit Evergreen East and its work on trails throughout the region. Live music is also planned for Saturday.

Tickets are $8 when purchased online in advance of the event and $10 at the gate. Those planning to take part in the bike demos or ride the shuttle to the top of the Sekani trail system will need special passes, which are also available online.

More information is available at

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