rockyreach2016 350Visitors will see a new playground on opening day

WENATCHEE - Where can you stand in the shadow of a hydro turbine, look for a Geocache, hug 42 kinds of trees, enjoy Mama D’s peanut brittle, visit a museum, and get eye-to-eye with a sockeye? Rocky Reach Dam, of course, and we can’t wait to welcome you for another great season of fun, exploration and education.

 The dam will open to the public for its 55th season at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1. The Visitor Center offers free tours of the powerhouse along with the Museum of the Columbia, plus art displays, a theater and fish viewing.

In 2015, Rocky Reach Dam hosted more than 71,000 visitors and welcomed almost 650 tour groups.

Events planned for this year include:

  • May 21 – River Ramble – A hands-on program for all ages offering a full range of events to experience Native American culture
  • June 29 through Aug. 10 (Wednesdays) – Summer Science classes for 6th -8th graders
  • Sept. 8 – Lady of the Lake Info-Cruise – Chelan PUD staff will talk lake level, habitat, snowpack and fish as we cruise out to Manson Bay and back. Reservations required by calling (509) 663-7522.
  • Sept. 10 – Senior Damboree – A fun day of activity and information, focused on senior adults
  • Oct. 22 and Oct. 29 – Hard-hat tours at the Lake Chelan Powerhouse – reservations required by calling (509) 663-7522
  • Oct. 30 – Harvest Roundup

Guests will enjoy new playground equipment in the Rocky Reach Park this spring. The playground has been modernized with improved toys for all ages, taking better advantage of the park space. It’s also ADA accessible. New equipment includes an enclosed slide, swings, and various climbing equipment. Stop by, check out the new play area, and join us in April for our ribbon cutting ceremony once the finishing touches are complete. Watch our Facebook page for details.

Always popular is the award-winning D3 Tour – a GPS-assisted scavenger hunt where visitors can find the hidden treasures of hydropower on the Columbia River. Anyone who finds all the geocaches at Rocky Reach will get a stamp on a D3 passport and a prize. To complete the challenge and receive a unique patch, “cachers” must fill their passport by finishing the geocache courses at all three dams, including Chief Joseph Dam, near Bridgeport, and Grand Coulee Dam, near Coulee Dam, on the upper Columbia River in Washington State.

Guests need to be sure and sample Mama D’s Kitchen at Rocky Reach. Run by local foodie and baker-extraordinaire, Gina Dugger, guests are welcome from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays with extended hours and weekends April - September. Dugger offers breakfast, lunch and a variety of local canned and baked goods, including gluten-free options.

Other things to do and see at Rocky Reach Visitor Center:

Reserve park shelters for birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries and family reunions at no cost. The grounds are open until 6 p.m. daily, until May 1, when park hours extend to 9 p.m. Guests can reserve Rocky Reach park shelters by calling (509) 663-7522.

Chelan County PUD welcomes visitors to tour the exhibits and the Museum of the Columbia at their leisure. Staff is on hand to answer questions and provide in-depth tours. To schedule a tour, visit our website, or contact Christina Detering, at (509) 663-7522.

The Visitor Center will be open March 1, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., daily, through Oct. 31. Rocky Reach Dam is located 7 miles north of Wenatchee on Highway 97A. Click for directions.

For questions about the Visitor Center, contact Debbie Gallaher, Visitor Services Department manager, at (509) 661-4960.

wsdot logoFeedback vital to plan’s development; public invited to weigh in at any of scheduled meetings statewide

OLYMPIA – Thanks to a coordinated planning effort, the next 20 years of transportation statewide are beginning to take shape. Now, it’s the public’s turn to help influence the future of multimodal transportation in Washington state.

Released Wednesday, Oct. 21, by the Washington State Department of Transportation, the draft Washington State Public Transportation Plan aims to better integrate all modes of public transportation to meet the needs of Washington communities for the next two decades. In order to gather feedback, WSDOT invites individuals to learn about the plan and provide input online or attend any of the public meetings taking place across the state.

“All of our lives are better because of public transportation,” said State Transportation Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton. “Whether it’s rush-hour commuters in the city, students getting to school or seniors going to the doctor, public transportation helps connect people with their communities. This plan offers a blueprint for how our state’s communities and transportation providers will work together to adapt to our changing world and better meet the needs of the people and businesses in those communities.”

The future of Washington’s transportation system—which includes buses, light rail, ferries, and trails for bicycles and pedestrians—will be shaped through partnerships between communities, government agencies and service providers. This draft plan, developed by WSDOT along with transportation agencies and service providers throughout the state, takes another step in defining these new partnerships.

About the plan

The Washington State Public Transportation Plan aims to improve transportation for everyone. It provides a framework for the next generation of efficient, effective public transportation. The plan also brings state and local organizations together to support economic and job growth, clean air and water, and thriving communities through public transportation.

Get involved

WSDOT and its partners are assembling an extensive list of opportunities for Washingtonians to help shape the plan. The meeting itinerary will ultimately include stops in several cities and towns in most counties across the state. These in-person events are designed in part to encourage the public and stakeholders to engage and provide feedback on the plan, and WSDOT will work to ensure that feedback influences the final plan. WSDOT will accept comments about the plan until Jan. 4, 2016.