Columbia River Valley—Washington
You travel through some of the most awesome temperate forests. In the Columbia River Valley there are many waterfalls cascading down the mountains. Then when you pass all that you see a desert that is beautiful in its own way. Here in the spring the cactus plants bloom! In summer the sagebrush blows. The wild plants bring color in the fall. The winter snows pile up and it is clean and almost perfect. This is the eastern end of the valley and it is as awesome as the Western side. Here you find rocks thousands of years old. There is Ginkgo petrified wood that is amazing. The Columbia River Valley is an area of geological wonders beyond belief. Spend the day! Go hiking in the painted hills. There is lots to do in Vantage.
There are magnificent views of the Columbia River Valley from the park at Vantage. You can see the unique Sentinel Gap and the surrounding basalt landscape. How beautiful it is! All this as the Columbia River cuts through the Saddle Mountains. The floodwaters from Glacial Lake Missoula moved through eastern Washington during the time of the ice age on a 430-mile journey to the Pacific Ocean. This event forever changed the landscape of Eastern Washington. The floodwaters made an immense channel through the eastern part of the valley. We know it today as the Columbia River. This is a magnificent river! All of these geological events created a very unique desert. It is breath-taking beauty. One that is only seen on the Eastern side of the Columbia River Valley. Here you see some of natures finest handiwork.
The area around Vantage was the historical home of the Wanapum Nation since before Washington was a state. Many well preserved rock paintings have been found on the cliff walls of the valley. There are many arrowheads and other tools that have been found that were made out of the petrified wood. Many petroglyphs were found showing the rising water of the floods in the area. The gingko petrified forest area was their native home. Most of the 70 people living in Vantage are Native American and have always lived in the Columbia River Valley. Check out the museum at the park! The history is amazing! See the rock paintings! What an awesome way to save history!
Are looking for something to do in your own back yard? Then remember the Columbia River Valley. It is fun! It is adventurous! Most people travel the Oregon side of the river, but HWY 14 is an awesome view on the Washington side. It is a good road. It is full of adventure. And you will see a whole new world! Vantage is the place to be on your next vacation.