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Columbia River Plateau

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The Columbia River Plateau is a region of Washington.


The "Tri-Cities Area" consists of Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco, set at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia rivers.

Interstate 84 follows the Yakima river including farmland of wheat, apples, and some other crops. The Rattlesnake Hills are to the south of the valley

South of the Rattlesnake hills is the Columbia River Gorge on the border with Oregon.


Adams County[edit]

Tri-Cities Area, Franklin County and Benton County[edit]

Douglas County[edit]

Grant County[edit]

Klickitat County[edit]

Lincoln County[edit]

Walla Walla County[edit]

Yakima County[edit]

Other destinations[edit]

  • Whitman Mission National Historic Site[6] - The 1847 Whitman "Massacre" horrified Americans and impacted the lives of the peoples of the Columbia Plateau for decades afterwards. See under Walla Walla#Get out.
  • Daroga State Park[7], on Lake Ential, 6 miles north of Orondo
  • Norman A. Welch Memorial Speedway, in Connell
  • Palouse Falls State Park[8], 23 miles southeast of Washtucna
  • The Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Road N.W., +1-206.628.0888, [1]. A 20,000 seat outdoor concert venue, located just off I-90, in the charmingly-named tiny town of "George, Washington". Beautiful sunsets.  edit
  • Rock climbing at Frenchman Coulee
  • Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, (Located off Interstate 84 or on the Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon Highway 30), +1-(503) 695-2372, [2]. The Columbia River cuts through the Cascade Mountains in this gorge, many km long. The Multnomah Falls are a particular attraction.  edit
  • Doug's Beach State Park, (On SR 14 about 5 km (3 miles) east of Lyle), [3]. 06:30h to dusk (summer), 08:00h to dusk (winter), open year-round. A day-use park on the Columbia River, a great location for windsurfing. Between Murdock and Lyle.  edit
  • Columbia Hills State Park, (On State Route 14 at milepost 85, 9 miles west of Wishram), [4]. 06:30 h to dusk, April 1 - October 31. A park on the Columbia River's north bank, under Horsethief Butte. A short ways north-east of The Dalles, Oregon. Previously known as Horsethief Falls State Park.  edit
  • Waitsburg Horse Race Track, East 10th Street, +1-(509) 337-6623.  edit, in Waitsburg
  • The Grand Coulee, see Dry Falls, climb Steamboat Rock, and hike in Northrup Canyon.


The Columbia River Plateau region consists of Adams, Benton, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Klickitat, Lincoln, Walla Walla, and Yakima Counties.


The primary language is English.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Portland International airport have international flights and are about 2-3 hours from this region by car. Two airports in this region have comercial air service (although limited): Yakima Airport and Pasco Airport.

By car[edit]

From Seattle: Take I-90 east to I-82, which leads into the heart of this region. From Portland: Take I-84 east, then either take US-97 north (to Yakima and Topennish) or I-82 west to the Tri-Cities From Boise and beyond: Take I-84 west to I-82 west. From Spokane and beyond: Take I-90 west. If going to the Tri-Cities, take US-395 south and if going to Yakima take I-82 east at Ellensburg.

By train[edit]

Amtrak's Empire Builder stops in Pasco (on the Portland branch) and Ephrata (on the Seattle branch).

Get around[edit]

  • When planning your trip, be sure to rent a car as public transit in this region is scarce. If you are flying in to the Tri - Cities and don't plan on leaving, then you can survive on the bus system, but things will be a lot easier with a car.
  • Keep in mind that compared to the rest of the US, there can be quite a distance between gas stations in this part of the state - especially if you go off on backroads.
  • Roads are often well maintained, but travel by car to Seattle and Portland can get questionable during the winter. The Gorge is prone to Ice Storms, and the passes to Seattle frequently get clogged with Snow that can take road crews days to remove. Chains are required for both routes during snow season.
  • As a nice contrast to the rest of the state, roads are often nice and wide. Due to the small and scattered population, congestion is almost nonexistent with the exception of Holidays.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge[9], a 14,000-acre wildlife refuge straddling the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. Entry points are in Irrigon, Oregon, and off Highway 14 in Washington
  • Crown Point Overlook State Park, (From state route 155 in Grand Coulee, take the turnoff to Bridgeport (state Route 174), drive two miles north, look for a sign 'Crown Point Vista'). The best spot for viewing the Grand Coulee Dam.  edit


Do[edit][add listing]

  • Tour the massive remediation projects and the historic B Reactor on the Hanford Site, formerly home to one of the United States' largest nuclear weapons production facilities.
  • Outdoor Enthusiasts will find a number of interesting hikes that show off the unique ecosystem.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Stay safe[edit]

The Columbia River Plateau is generally safe. The biggest risk in the Columbia River Plateau is rattlesnakes, don't touch them.

Get out[edit]

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