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Spotlight: Ice Harbor Lock and Dam - Lake Sacajawea, WA

Spotlight: Ice Harbor Lock and Dam - Lake Sacajawea, WA

Celebrating 50 Years

Ice Harbor Aerial Ice Harbor Lock and Dam

Getting There

Ice Harbor Lock and Dam and Lake Sacajawea are located in southeastern Washington on the lower Snake River, near the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Wide-open vistas characterize this landscape just 15 minutes from the Tri-Cities of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland.

What You’ll Find

Ice Harbor Lock and Dam is a testament to civil works engineering and consists of a powerhouse, navigation lock, two adult fish ladders, 10 spillways, a juvenile fish bypass facility and a spillway weir to assist juvenile fish migrating downstream. Behind the dam lies beautiful Lake Sacajawea extending 32 miles upstream. Popular activities include boating, camping, swimming, waterskiing, hunting and fishing.  There are full-service campgrounds and picnic areas as well. 

Make Sure You

Visit the fish-viewing window where you can watch migrating salmon or other fish swimming past the dam on the fish ladders.  Seasonally, take a tour of the dam and lock. See the new wildlife display, family-friendly educational kiosks and videos for all ages at the Visitor Center. 

Try This

View nesting Bald Eagles in winter and spring or try wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing or hiking. Check out nearby McNary National Wildlife Refuge or take a walk through history along the Sacajawea Heritage Trail, a 23-mile, paved pedestrian pathway along the Columbia River, or visit Sacajawea State Park, where Lewis and Clark set up camp in 1805. The lake and state park are named for the young Shoshone woman, who served not only as guide, but as a hardworking member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Nearby Charbonneau Park, named for Sacajawea’s husband, also reflects the area’s ties to the expedition.

Don’t Forget

Ice Harbor Lock and Dam is holding its 50th anniversary on June 16th, 2012. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated the dam on May 9, 1962. Plans include a re-dedication ceremony and free open house tours where visitors can learn how the dam makes electricity and how the Corps of Engineers helps salmon migration. You might even see a towboat navigate through the lock!

Get Started

There is so much to do at Ice Harbor Lock and Dam and on Lake Sacajawea.You may want to start by visiting the Lake Sacajawea/Ice Harbor Dam Visitor Center website, or go to www.nww.usace.army.mil and click on “Recreation.” You can also call the Ice Harbor Natural Resources office at 509-547-2048.