Five Fun Facts About Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon is an impressive chunk of land on the Washington-Idaho border that the Snake River cuts through. The canyon is deep and is popular with boaters, anglers, hikers, jetskiers, waterskiers, birdwatchers, and more. There are few points to access the water from and the dams located there are very interesting too.

Here is a look at five fun facts about Hells Canyon.

How Deep?

Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America. At its deepest, it is measured at 7,993 feet.

Missed It By That Much

Members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, using the Salmon River, came extremely close to Hells Canyon during the Corps of Discovery’s journey west to the Pacific Ocean in 1806, but turned back before seeing the majestic deep canyons.

There’s Gold In That Thar Canyon!

Gold was discovered on the gravel river bars in Hells Canyon during the 1860s. Because of its inaccessibility and remoteness, most of the miners left soon after and the region was described as not being profitable.

Slow That River Up!

In 1955, the Federal Power Commission approved plans for three dams in Hells Canyon. The first to be completed was Brownlee Dam, then came Oxbow Dam, and finally Hells Canyon Dam.

A Whole Lotta Walkin!

In the entire Hells Cayon Wilderness Area there are approximately 360 miles of hiking trails.

Five Fun Facts About Richland, Washington

The city of Richland is one of the three that make up the Eastern Washington destination known as the Tri-Cities.  It sits right where the Columbia and Yakima rivers meet and is home to loads of great weather and fun things to do.  it’s also a very interesting place as well.

Here are five fun facts about Richland, Washington.

Two Sport Star

Gene Conley graduared from high school in Richland in 1948. He would go on to play in both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.

Columbia Point

Columbia Point is located in Richland and sits right at the point where the Yakima River flows into the Columbia River. Long before Richland was settled or named, this point had been home to a historic Native American village called Chemna.

What’s In A Name?

Richland was named for Nelson Rich, a local land developer and also a state legislator.

Street Names

With Richland having been a government and military town for so long, thanks to its placement near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and its close ties to the Army Corps of Engineers, many of its street names are named for famous engineers.

October 17, 1805

On October 17, 1805, the mouth of the Yakima River where Richland now sits was visited by Captain William Clark as part of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition.

Spend The Night In Richland

Looking for a place to spend the night when you visit Richland?
Check out: Hampton Inn Richland/Tri-Cities

Five Fun Facts About White Pass in Washington

White Pass, Washington

Travelers crossing the Central Cascade Mountains of Washington may drive on Highway 12 and eventually crest the range at White Pass. White Pass is south of Mt. Rainier, north of Goat Rocks, and located between the communities of Packwood and Yakima. It’s a very popular route for travelers and has a number of scenic sights to see on both sides. Here is a look at five fun facts about scenic White Pass.

Touched By Two Counties

White Pass not only separates Eastern Washington from Western Washington in the central part of the state, it also serves as the border for two counties. Yakima County in the east and Lewis County in the west meet at the top of White Pass.

Ski White Pass

The White Pass Ski Area, a popular Washington recreation site, was opened in January of 1953.

Highway 5?

Most drivers going over White Pass today, are driving on Highway 12 all the way from where it meets Interstate 5 in the west to where it meets Interstate 82 in the east, near Yakima. When this route across the Cascade Mountains was first established though in 1931, it was named State Road 5.

A Long And Winding Road

While locals think of Highway 12 as White Pass or even a major east-west route across the Cascade Mountains, it is so much more than that. Yes, it does cross the Cascades at White Pass, but it also starts at Aberdeen in the west and goes for almost 2,500 miles to the city of Detroit, Michigan in the east.

Twin Medalists

Twins Phil and Steve Mahre grew up skiing at White Pass and would go on to become Olympic medalists. Their father, Dave, was for many years the mountain manager of the White Pass Ski Area.

Five Fun Facts About Sumner, Washington

Sumner WA Bridge

Sumner, Washington is a city of about 10,000 people. It’s a suburb of Tacoma, located just east of Puyallup. It’s also right on the way to Mount Rainier which makes it a great place to stop for a meal, snack, or picnic.

Here is a look at five fun facts about Sumner, Washington.

The Southern Border

The Puyallup River is 45 miles long and gets its start from Mount Rainier and empties into Commencement Bay. Along the way, it forms the southern border of the city of Sumner.

What’s In A Name

Sumner was first platted in 1883 and was named for U.S. Senator Charles Sumner. Sumner was known for his staunch position against slavery during the Civil War era.

In The Path

Should nearby Mount Rainier erupt again, scientists predict a catastrophic lahar (mud flow) will hit Sumner, just after hitting the small town of Orting and just before hitting nearby Puyallup. This fact is featured in an episode of the television series Modern Marvels.

Original Names

When the area was first settled, what is now Sumner was originally known as Stuck Junction. It was then later renamed Franklin. The United States Postal Service was one of the driving factors in then changing it again to Sumner.

Yearly Festival

The big yearly get together in Sumner is the Daffodil Festival. The first Daffodil Festival was held on April 6, 1926.

Interested in more information about Sumner, Washington?
City of Sumner

Five Fun Facts About Dry Falls In Eastern Washington

Dry Falls Washington

Dry Falls is one of the most impressive natural sights to see in Eastern Washington, if not the entire Northwest. This is the site of an ancient waterfall that roared at the end of the last ice area, plummeting over 400 feet, and stretching for up to five times as long as Niagara Falls.

Here are five fun facts about this impressive and scenic natural wonder.

Kept Dry By A Dam

The Upper Grand Coulee is home to Banks Lake which is a man-made lake filled with water pumped up from Grand Coulee Dam. The southern end of Banks Lake is sealed off by a long earthen dam, Dry Falls Dam. This dam keeps the from the lake from continuing down and falling over the edge of Dry Falls.

No Speed Limit Signs

When Dry Falls was active at the end of the last ice age, it’s estimated that the water rushing down the Grand Coulee and spilling over the edge of the waterfall was traveling at approximately 65 miles per hour.

Lots o’ Lakes

Within the Dry Falls area, there are actually several small lakes. Some of the smallest may completely go dry during the end of summer. Some of these lakes include Dry Falls Lake, Green Lake, Park Lake, Red Alkali Lake, Perch Lake, Meadow Lake, Mirror Lake, Deep Lake, and Vic Meyers Lake.

15.5 Miles!

While the rim of the fomer waterfall that makes up the most dramatic scenery of Dry Falls is three and a half miles long, once you descend into the canyon floor area you will find 15.5 miles worth of hiking trails there to explore!

There’s Fish Down There!

In spite of it being located in a very dry area and surrounded by sagebrush and rock, the many lakes at Dry Falls not only contain fish but are popular local fishing destinations. Some of the many different types of fish caught there include Rainbow Trount, Brown Trout, Sunfish, Perch, Kokanee, Lake Trout, and Lahontan Cutthroat Trout.

Roadside Attraction: Old Number Six in Newhalem, WA

Old Number Six Locomotive - Newhalem

The small town of Newhalem is located high in the North Cascade Mountains, on the west side of the crest that separates Western Washington from Eastern Washington. Newhalem saw its birth as a company town, it being a big part of Seattle City Light’s long plan of buildin gthree hydroelectric dams in the upper Skagit River Valley.

Today, you can visit Newhalem and see a lot of interesting attractions, many of them quite historic. One of the top attractions though for kids and adults alike, especially those interested in railroad history, is Old Number Six.

Old Number Six Locomotive - Newhalem

Old Number Six is the name given to a historic locomotive that sits right next to the highway at Newhalem, surrounded by a large playground, a nice picnic area, and even some playground toys for the little ones. Those playground toys aren’t the only thing to climb on though. If you’re stopping there with kids, make sure they get a chance to climb around on the historic locomotive engine too. For parents, this is a great photo taking opportunity too. Snap photos of your kids posing on the front of the engine, climbing up to where the engineer operated it, or even climbing up onto the coal car in the back. If they can find there way to it, they can even ring the train engine’s bell.

Old Number Six Locomotive - Newhalem

Since you stopped to check out this cool historic train engine anyway, you should take the time to look around the rest of Newhalem. Check out the general store, it’s been operating there continuously for decades. You can also check out the water tower, the Skagit Information Center, and the grounds there. Get out in the outdoors a little more by taking the short hikes, one to Ladder Creek Falls and the other along the Trail of the Cedars. There’s a lot to see at Newhalem, but it all starts with Old Number Six.

Old Number Six Locomotive - Newhalem

Five Fun Facts About Vancouver Island

Victoria is probably the most popular destination on Vancouver Island, but there are a lot of great places to visit there. As you work your way up the island from Victoria, there are a lot of very scenic locations and remote spots to discover as well. Here is a look at five fun facts about this awesome destination.

Three Straits

Vancouver Island is separated from the mainland of Canada and Washington State by three straits. The Strait of Juan de Fuca separates it from Washington. The island is separated from the Canadian mainland by the Strait of Georgia and the Queen Charlotte Strait.

George Vancouver’s Namesakes

Vancouver Island is named after Royal Navy officer George Vancouver. He has islands, bays, cities, mountains, peninsulas, forts, and other geographic points named after him in Canada, America, New Zealand, and Australia.

Higher Education on the Island

There are five institutes of higher education on Vancouver Island: University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University, Royal Roads University, Camosun College, and North Island College.

The Pacific Marine Circle Route

The Pacific Marine Circle Route is one of the best scenic drives on Vancouver Island. This route leaves Victoria, heads up the inside coast of the island, then crosses the island and comes back down the Pacific coast of the island before returning to where it started. The entire route takes about four and a half hours to drive straight through without any stops.

The Colony of Vancouver Island

From 1849 to 1866, a span of 17 years, Vancouver Island was officially known as the Colony of Vancouver Island or the Island of Vancouver and its Dependencies. At that point, it was joined with the Colony of British Columbia and then five years later became a part of the Dominion of Canada in 1871.

Five Fun Facts About Newhalem’s Old Number Six Locomotive

Old Number Six Locomotive - Newhalem

The building of the dams of the upper Skagit River Valley were an important accomplishment in the early 1900’s in Washington State. There weren’t many roads in the area at the time and transporting workers and materials largely fell to the local railway. Old Number Six is the name of the historic locomotive engine used in those days and it currently sits in Newhalem as a reminder of the past and an interesting tourist attraction today.

Here are five fun facts about Newhalem’s Old Number Six locomotive.

Old Number Six’s Birthday

Old Number Six was built in 1928 for Seattle City Light by Baldwin Locomotive Works.

Old Number Six’s Origin

Old Number Six worked the Skagit Valley Railway line for years for Seattle City Light. It was built in Pennsylvania though and had to make its way across almost the entire country just to get to where it would perform its work.

Its Regular Route

The regular route for Old Number Six saw it run the railway from Newhalem to Rockport.

Short Work History

Old Number Six came to Seattle City Light in the late 1920’s. The railway was closed in 1954 and would no longer be needed. The company sold the rails and the bulk of the rolling stock, but kept the locomotive engine.

Ring That Bell

Old Number Six proudly sits right along the North Cascades Highway in Newhalem these days. There are picnic tables and a large playground around it, as well as the local historic grocery store. Kids can climb up on the locomotive and if they can find it, they can even ring the bell.