It does take a few hours to get there, but it's worth the scenery.

When most folks head up to the Spokane-Coeur D' Alene area for a vacation, they hit Riverfront Park,  the beach on the lake by Hagadone's Resort, or Silverwood.

But the area we visited was scenic and not too crowded. My wife's relatives live in Rathdrum (populated by a whopping 4,816 people) and we spent some time at Post Falls Dam Park. Pretty cool!

It's the original site of the "falls" which were named after the last name of the founder of the city, Frederick Post. He was a German immigrant, who after negotiating a treaty with the Coeur D' Alene Indian tribe in 1871, built a dam at the site of the falls on the Spokane River.

It was the first hydroelectric and irrigation project in the Inland Northwest, and many of the surrounding sites have been preserved. Black Bay Park is full of hiking trails, and beautiful images. We saw nestled on the hillside the home of the founder of Amway, who's home looks like a modern castle.

But the most impressive site is the Post Falls Dam. It's pretty funny to see signs posted around the area reading "water levels may fluctuate-stay out and stay alive!"   Apparently over the years people have tried to jump off the rocks into the deep channel flowing away from the dam.  Others have tried to climb down onto the exposed rocks that are seen when only part of the gates are open.

But beautiful views and scenery, and some kids play areas too. The historical society has preserved the original headwater gate where the Spokane River was partially diverted for irrigation purposes. It was an impressive feat of engineering. And, unlike the geese down in Columbia Park, we saw a few that let us get about 4 feet away before they decided it was time to leave. Our camera really didn't do the closeup justice, but they were right there!

Approaching the restored irrigation gate, we sneaked a peek down into the old channel where the water flowed. The first step is a doozy. In front of the dam is a drop of about 25 feet in the rock! It doesn't operate anymore, but it's a pretty deep channel.

If you're up in the Post Falls area, it's worth taking some time to visit this beautiful area where the Spokane River cruises by the city.