Rocky Reach Dam

Construction began in 1956 on the Rocky Reach Dam. This dam now has eleven generators and contributes over 115,000 volts to our power grid. It’s an interesting place to stop.  You may think you aren’t allowed because the facility is surrounded by chain link fencing and you have to check in at the gate, but once inside you will find a sprawling park with lots of art and play equipment.  Stop and spend some time wandering through the park or continue on to the visitors center.


The visitor’s center offers a tour of the fish ladder. Learn how the smaller fish are flushed through a giant tube over the dam, while the larger fish use the ladder that gains one foot in elevation for every hundred feet traveled. The fish ladder viewing area is a great place to get a good look at a salmon or other fish traveling through.

Don’t stop there though. There is more to see follow the dam across to the museum.  Within the dam their is an interesting quite large museum of the natural history of the area.  You will find exhibits on hydro electric power as well as wireless communications. The main exhibit is a full history of the area. It begins with the geology that formed the scenic waterways and majestic mountains of our beautiful Pacific Northwest and continues on telling the story of ancient indigenous people on up to current day.

Museum of Columbia Guide

The entire experience is free.  Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy your day. The park has a castle style playground and lots of fun play areas. This stop is kid friendly, but not dog friendly.

You will even find relics like this.

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