Grand Coulee Dam is the anchor of a vast and beautiful region of eastern Washington State. Almost everyone who visits this region will enjoy Grand Coulee Dam tours or at least cross its roadway, which is considered one of the most famous bridges in the United States. The attractions that radiate out from the huge electric power-producing facility begin with the lakes and reservoirs that the dam created. The lakes provide some of the best freshwater Washington fishing, large wilderness areas that are among the most scenic in the world, and provide numerous activities and things to do. There are several hotels near Grand Coulee Dam as well as numerous budget lodging options that range from lodges and cabins to campgrounds.
The Grand Coulee Dam is located about 100 miles west of the city of Spokane on the western edge of Eastern Washington. The two main cities closest to it are Electric City and Coulee Dam Most of the hotels near Grand Coulee Dam are located in these two cities, in addition to Spokane.
Grand Coulee Dam tours are offered by experts of the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency that Is part of the United States Department of the Interior and has oversight of the facility. The facility is one of the engineering marvels of the world, and is the largest such power-producing facility in the United States. Its main reservoir is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lake, named for the President who was responsible for its construction during the height of the Depression during the 1930s. It is part of the history of that era, and entered popular folklore when singer Woody Guthrie was commissioned to write songs about the project. These included the iconic songs “Grand Coulee Dam” and “Roll On Columbia.” These songs became anthems of the era.
On your Grand Coulee Dam tours you will learn all about this huge facility that is nearly a mile long and is taller than the Great Pyramids in Cairo, Egypt. In fact, the Giza Pyramids (all of them) would fit into the area of the dam’s base. There is a visitor’s center full of historical photographs, fascinating scale models, and other information on the facility. Since 1989, the largest laser light show in the country is put on here, and is as dramatic as that at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
Banks Lake is, like Roosevelt Lake, one of the reservoirs near the Grand Coulee Dam that provides wonderful outdoor activities in this region. In spite of the controversy and ecological impact that the damming of the Columbia River has had on salmon spawning grounds, these lakes still provide some of the best fishing in the northwest United States. The dam is surrounded by large tracts of wilderness preserved in several national and state parks where there is hiking, mountain biking and cycling tours, boating and swimming, and camping.
One of the best hotels near Grand Coulee Dam is the Columbia River Inn, located in the town of Coulee Dam. This is a good three star property a bit of a cut above a regular motel, and is typical of the kind of hotel accommodations you will find in the region. From this property, you can actually walk across the street to the dam’s famous laser light show. There are more modest motels as well as a good selection of charming bed and breakfast inns. While the national parks have campsites, you can also find several RV parks and campgrounds with self-catering cabins. Some of these are fairly extensive resorts, offering marinas and boat rentals, swimming pools and community centers, and stores and markets to stock up on vacation supplies. Wherever you stay in this region, you will enjoy one of the most scenic parts of the magnificent North Cascades and some of the best of the Washington State parks.