Earthquake Point is located about halfway between Wenatchee and Chelan. It earned it’s name from a violent earthquake that occurred in 1872. Enough earth and rock was brought down that the Columbia River was completely blocked for a number of hours.
Historical markers make great places to stop and learn something new during a road trip. They also make nice photo taking opportunities.
Located just north of the small town of Entiat and right along the Columbia River, between Wenatchee and Lake Chelan, is a historical marker that details Earthquake Point. The area is also known as Ribbon Cliff and Broken Mountain. It’s little more than a crumbling hillside and an informational sign.
Near the end of 1872, a huge earthquake hit at this spot and it caused a huge amount of debris to break away from the mountain and tumble down into the Columbia River. This is one of the major rivers of the Pacific Northwest and the entire country. Enough debris had come down that day that it actually completely dammed the river for several hours. The idea of a rock slide big enough to block the entire Columbia River is staggering.
As you look around towards the river, you can see remnants of this landslide, with rock outcroppings peeking out from the river’s water. There are even small islands left in this part of the river, all made of rock that came down during the earthquake that gave this spot its name.
Read the historical marker and take some photos. It’s pretty impressive, even with the later development that came along like the highway, railroad, power lines, and farms across the river.
Earthquake Point is another of the many great historical spots to stop and see when taking a road trip through the Pacific Northwest.