Grand Coulee Dam

Grand Coulee Dam
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Grand Coulee Dam is not only one of Eastern Washington’s top attractions, but it can also be reached from nearly any direction. If you’re coming over the North Cascades Highway, from the Okanogan area, or up the Methow Valley; you can get there via either highway 155 or 174. If you’re coming from Spokane or anywhere else to the east, you can reach Grand Coulee Dam by highway 2 and 174. Highways 2 and 17 meet at Coulee City south of the dam and then highway 155 can be taken north along Banks Lake. It takes less than an hour to get from Lake Lenore Caves to Grand Coulee Dam which makes both attractions easy to visit in the same day.

Grand Coulee Dam is a true engineering marvel and a great destination for a day trip or as part of a longer visit to North Central Washington. The original construction of the dam began in 1933 and was finished in 1942. Water backed up behind the dam forms Lake Roosevelt, another popular attraction, and stretches all the way to the border with Canada. Water from the dam is also pumped up the hillside and used to fill Banks Lake too.

The first place you should check out when visiting there is the Grand Coulee Dam Visitors Center. This state of the art facility teaches adults and kids all about the history of the dam, as well as the principles behind the hydroelectric and irrigation values that it uses to benefit the entire region. There are a lot of hands on exhibits that are designed in a way so that you or your children are having so much fun that they don’t even recognize that there’s genuine learning going on.

As the sun starts to go down, venture outside to any of the number of viewpoints that position you for the chance to view something really special. The dam’s laser light show began in the late 1980’s and, after recently being updated, still runs nightly from Memorial Day through the end of September. The Grand Coulee Dam laser light show is shown right on the while water that cascades down the face of the dam. The story told by the narration, along with the laser pictures shown on the dam, continue the educational information started by what you’ve just seen inside the visitor’s center.

If you find yourself anywhere along the Coulee Corridor, whether staying in Soap Lake, exploring Lake Lenore Caves, or playing on or along the water of Banks Lake or Lake Roosevelt, a dash to Grand Coulee Dam to see the impressive wonder that it is can be a very good idea. Once there, take some time to explore the small towns that surround the dam as well.

Grand Coulee Dam