Category Archives: Fun Facts

Five Fun Facts About Wells Dam In North Central Washington

Wells Dam

Wells Dam sits on the Columbia River, just north of Chelan and just south of Pateros. This is another of the many imporant Columbia River dams that help with flood control as well as contribute to the wealth of hydroelectric power the region has. It doesn’t get as much attention as some of the others, but it is a very significant part of the region.

Here are five fun facts about Wells Dam.

Birthdate

Wells Dam started producing electricity when it began operation on August 22nd, 1967.

Power Production

Wells Dam produces hydroelectricity thanks to the 10 turbine generators that operate there.

How Far?

Wells Dam spans for 4,460 feet across the Columbia River.

Lake What?

The water backed up behind Wells Dam is known as Lake Pateros. This is just the reservoir of water accumulated in the body of the Columbia River.

Downstream Island

There is a small island just below Wells Dam with a boat launch and fish hatchery known as Carpenter Island.

Five Fun Facts About The Chelan Dam

Chelan Dam

North Central Washington has more than its fair share of impressive dams. The most famous in the region is of course Grand Coulee Dam. There are other important ones too and one of those is the Chelan Dam which helps with the water management of Lake Chelan.

Here are five fun facts about the Chelan Dam.

What’s In A Name?

While popularly known as the Chelan Dam, the official name is the Lake Chelan Hydroelectric Project.

The Shortest Of Them All

The Chelan Dam sits on the Chelan River. The river is just 4.1 miles long. This makes it the shortest river in the entire state of Washington.

Underground Flow

Water going through the Chelan Dam for power production actually travels a little over two miles underground through a tunnel to the powerhouse that sits adjacent to the Columbia River.

Birth Notice

Construction on the Chelan Dam began in 1926 and it opened in 1927. This was at least the fourth dam built on the Chelan River. The first two were wooden versions that would be washed out by high water. The third was completed in 1903 and brought the first electricity to the city of Chelan.

Measurements

The Chelan Dam measures in at 40 feet high and 490 feet across. It includes eight spillway bays.

Five Fun Facts About Moses Coulee

Moses Coulee

Moses Coulee may not be the most famous of the coulees in the North Central Washington, but it has a lot to offer in its own right. The dramatic scenery alone, with the rocky cliffsides and desolate landscape, are perfect for picture taking. This is a great destination for a quick day trip.

Here are five fun facts about Moses Coulee.

A National Natural Landmark

The bottom of Moses Coulee, where it discharges into the Columbia River, is known as the Great Gravel Bar of Moses Coulee and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.

An Alternate Route

Though it’s hard to believe now, for a short time during and after the Great Missoula Flood, the Columbia River briefly flowed through Moses Coulee.

Appledale, WA

Established in the lower part of Moses Coulee, a post office called Appledale was created in 1912. It remained in operation until 1927 and was named for the apple orchards in the area.

Palisades, WA

The area known as Palisades, Wa is an unincorporated community in Moses Coulee. A post office was established in Palisades in 1908 and still operates there today.

Bodies of Water

While it was carved by ice and water, the huge Moses Coulee now is home to just two very small lakes. Both lakes are located in upper Moses Coulee with Grimes Lake being to the north and Jameson Lake being to the south.

Five Fun Facts About Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park

Twenty Five Mile Creek State Park

North Central Washington is home to some great state parks. The Lake Chelan area is a top destination and on its southern shore is Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park. The park is popular with both campers and boaters and has easy access to to both the lower and upper part of the lake.

Here are five fun facts about Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park.

Private Property

Prior to its development as a state park, the area that is now Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park was orifinally developed as a private resort.

67 Spots

There are 67 total campsites at Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park. 46 of them are tent sites and there are 21 more that offer limited utilities.

How Big?

Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park covers 235 acres of land on Chelan’s south shore.

Long Ago Campers

Long before it became a state park and a much sought after destination for campers, the area where Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park now sits was a Native American seasonal encampment.

Firefighter Lodging

Many times when wildfires have been active on the south shore of Lake Chelan or higher up in the hills, Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park has been used as a staging area for firefighting equipment, as well as an area to house firefighters.

Five Fun Facts About Tonasket, Washington

Tonasket, Washington sits far up north in North Central Washington and has a lot to offer as a destination or just a stop on a drive through the region. It’s located in Okanogan County and it and the entire area around it have a very interesting history.

Here are five fun facts about Tonasket, Washington.

Namesake

Tonasket is named for Chief Tonasket of the Okanogan. He was grand chief of the American Okanogan. This division of the people was created by the 1846 Oregon Treaty that drew the Canada-United States border.

Water Borders

Water forms the approximate borders of the town of Tonasket on three sides. On the east the boundary is formed by the Okanogan River, on the north it is formed by Siwash Creek, and the southern border is mainly formed by Bonaparte Creek.

17 Year Difference

Tonasket was first platted in 1910 but would not be officially incorporated until 1927.

How Far?

The town of Tonasket is located 20 miles south of the Canadian border. It’s also 164 miles northwest of Spokane and roughly 260 miles northeast of Seattle.

Finally!

It was the 2010 United States Census that finally saw Tonasket’s population top the 1,000 mark when it totaled 1,032. It had just missed the mark in the 2000 national census when population was measured at 994.

Five Fun Facts About Lake Lenore Caves In North Central Washington

Lake Lenore Caves

One of the more interesting places to visit in North Central Washington is Lake Lenore Caves. This spot north of Soap Lake and south of Coulee City is a great family destination for a quick hike up on the hillside for a unique opportunity to explore some caves. This is yet another of the many places locals and tourists are lucky to have access to in this region.

Here are five fun facts about Lake Lenore Caves.

How It’s Made

Lake Lenore Caves were formed during the famous Great Missoula Flood. Rushing water pulled huge pieces of basalt away from and out of the walls of the coulee, leaving behind shallow caves.

Yeah, It’s A Trail, But…

There is a short trail that leads up to the caves from the parking lot at Lake Lenore Caves. Part of this trail, as it rises up the steep terrain, is actually a manmade staircase.

Lucky Number 7

There are a total of seven caves along this main trail that accesses Lake Lenore Caves. While created by the Great Missoula Flood, they were used by Native Americans as temporary lodging and storage.

Two Lakes

While standing in front of the caves at Lake Lenore Caves, you can view two lakes in front of you. Straight ahead and to the south is Lenore Lake. To the north is Alkali Lake.

Steep, But Short

While the initial approach to the trail at Lake Lenore Caves is steep, it’s relatively short. There is only an elevation gain of about 200 feet and the entire trail is only one and a half miles long.

5 More Fun Facts About Stevens Pass In North Central Washington

Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass was an important discovery in terms of the development of North Central Washington. From a railroad, highway, and trail perspectives, many people and a lot of goods head in and out of the area by traveling that way.

We did five fun facts about Stevens Pass awhile ago and it proved pretty popular:

5 Fun Facts About Stevens Pass In North Central Washington

With that in mind, here are five more fun facts about Stevens Pass.

A Second Tunnel?

The Cascade Tunnel is a railroad tunnel that goes beneath Stevens Pass and stretches for 7.8 miles. It opened in 1929, replacing an earlier one that had also gone by the name of The Cascade Tunnel.

Walk This Way

The pedestrian bridge that crosses U.S. 2 at the ski area at the top of Stevens Pass was constructed in 2010.

Mountain Names

The Stevens Pass Ski Area operates at the top of Stevens Pass. The ski area offers lifts and runs on both Cowboy Mountain and Big Chief Mountain.

Who Built Them?

Both the original and current tunnels that are open to train travel beneath Stevens Pass were built by the Great Northern Railway.

Imagine Life Without It

The state highway over Stevens Pass was opened on July 11, 1925.

5 More Fun Facts About The Lake Wenatchee Area

Lake Wenatchee Area

The Lake Wenatchee Area is one of the more beautiful parts of North Central Washington. It is home to vacation homes, small communities, and even a state park. It’s very easy to have a great time in the Lake Wenatchee Area regardless of what time of year it is.

We did some fun facts about the Lake Wenatchee Area before:

5 Fun Facts About The Lake Wenatchee Area

Because it was so popular, here are five more fun facts about the Lake Wenatchee Area.

The Local Airport

Just north of Lake Wenatchee State Park is Lake Wenatchee State Airport. The airport features a turf runway that is 2,473 feet in length.

Logging Routes

Logging in the Lake Wenatchee area began shortly after the first settlers became established there. Logs were brought to Leavenworth by two main routes, either via the Wenatchee River during the high spring water or on the small Peavine Rail that was built right along the Chumstick Highway.

Name That Island

The island that sits in Lake Wenatchee, righ above where the Wenatchee River leaves it, is named Emerald Island.

Maximum Capacity

Lake Wenatchee State Park features just under 200 campsites, plus a large family campsite. Many of these sites are reservable online at: &&

Local Communities

There are several small unincorporated communities and former communities in the Lake Wenatchee Area. Some of these names include Telma, Coles Corner, Chumstick, Winton, Merritt, and Plain. Most of those who live in the area carry a Leavenworth mailing address.

5 Fun Facts About North Central Washington Creeks

Twentyfive Mile Creek State Park

North Central Washington is home to a lot of water. A lot of that water is in the form of creeks too. Some of these are fish bearing, some run right along popular camping areas, and some are hidden away and not widely known.

Here are five fun facts about the creeks of North Central Washington.

The Creek or the Campground?

Just outside the boundaries of Lake Wenatchee State Park is a U.S. National Forest campground that shares its name with the creek that flows through it, Nason Creek Campground. It’s there at that campground that this significant creek becomes the first tributary to flow into the Wenatchee River.

Whitewater?

Peshastin Creek comes tumbling off the Cascade Mountains near Blewett Pass and heads into the Wenatchee River near Dryden. The last eight and a half miles of the creek are actually listed as a class III-IV section of whitewater according to American Whitewater.

All Aboard!

In the early 1900’s, Douglas Creek saw a nine month building project by the Great Northern Railway end with the construction of what was known as the Mansfield Branch Line. This railroad line stretched from the Columbia River below Rock Island, up Moses Coulee, and across the Waterville Plateau to Mansfield, largely following Douglas Creek. The prime purpose of the rail line was to transport grain and the last train to use this route did so in 1985.

What’s In A Name?

Salmon Creek is known for draining the water from Conconully Lake and Conconully Reservoir all the way to the community of Okanogan and emptying into the Okanogan River. The community of Conconully was originally named Salmon City after the creek where ore deposits had been found.

Not Always A State Park

Twentyfive Mile Creek flows out of the Cascade Mountains and into Lake Chelan very near to the highest uplake portion of the lake you can reach by road. The creek meets the lake at what is now Twentyfive Mile Creek State Park. This spot was originally a private resort and was acquired by Washington State in 1972.

Five Fun Facts About The Entiat Valley

The Entiat Valley is accessible off of Highway 97A just south of Entiat, between Wenatchee and Chelan. Turning up the Entiat River Road will lead you to some great scenery and some nice recreational opportunities. The Entiat Valley makes for a nice drive on a pleasant afternoon, or you can head there to go camping or hiking too.

Here are five fun facts about The Entiat Valley.

From Start To Finish

The Entiat River starts high in the Glacier Peak Wilderness and travels 57 miles to where it ends when it empties into the Columbia River.

Fish On!

The Entiat National Fish Hatchery in the Entiat Valley opened for operation way back in 1941. In 2017, the shoreline on the Entiat River at the fish hatchery opened to anglers for the first time ever.

Welcome to Ardenvoir

The community of Ardenvoir sits just nine miles up the EntiatValley from the town of Entiat. It started as a logging and mining camp.

Not That One!

One of the top attractions in the Entiat Valley is Silver Falls. This scenic waterfall is 140 feet tall and offers a loop trail that climbs from the parking area below all the way to near the top and back down. There is another Silver Falls in Washington that is also a popular hiking spot. That one is located near Mount Rainier.

Creek Names

Some of the creeks you’ll pass by or be very near as you drive through the Entiat Valley include Pope Creek, Jungle Creek, Silver Creek, Lake Creek, Tommy Creek, Fox Creek, Burns Creek, McCrea Creek, Brennegan Creek, Mott Creek, Preston Creek, Tyee Creek, Shamel Creek, Stormy Creek, Potato Creek, Roundy Creek, Mud Creek, and Roaring Creek.