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Idaho Line to Teanaway

  • Distance: 245 miles
  • Routes: SR 2, SR 97, SR970
  • Estimated Driving Time: 4.5 hours

This leg of the tour extends between the Idaho border and the Cascade Mountains, covering wheat fields, orchards, coulees and ancient lava flows and passing through multiple historic towns.

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East of Spokane, this was a boom town in the early 1860s thanks to mining. In 1862 A.C. Kendall built a cabin and established a trading post here; two years later a bridge was constructed, and in 1867 a post office was established. Mail carriers on horseback followed the Mullan Road through the settlement on their way to the mines of the Coeur d’Alene and the Bitterroot mountains. The murder...

Learn more about Spokane Bridge

Originally one of the larger truck farming communities in the region, Opportunity is now lined with one- to two-story commercial buildings (ca. 1910s and 1920s). Most notable is Opportunity Hall, home of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. This inspirational town name was selected to attract investment, when the it was platted. For many years the Washington State Patrol had a radio program entitled “This Could Be You,” With the stretch...

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Opportunity Township Hall

A. T. Dishman founded this eponymous town in 1889, shooting the granite cliffs just south of town to open a quarry. The Dishman family started a trading company in 1900 and had extensive real estate interests in California, a fishing business in Mexico, and a local building construction company. As of 1941, modern business buildings lined the highway, and during the growing season the town was a busy shopping center....

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Spokane’s Public Library’s system of branches began in 1905, when one was opened in the basement of a school on the west side of Hangman Creek. In 1912, Andrew Carnegie promised $70,000 for the construction of two permanent branches. $17,500 was allocated for the construction of the East Side Branch, designed by architect Albert Held, which served the city until 1980.

Learn more about Spokane Carnegie Library East Side Branch

The major city of the Inland Empire of Washington, Spokane sits at the falls of the Spokane River 90 miles south of the Canadian boundary in central Spokane County. Settlement began in 1871, and the town was originally platted in 1881 as Spokane Falls, but was reincorporated in 1890 as Spokane. The name has two possible origins: One is that it came from the Indians who formerly lived in a...

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Points of Interest
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Browne’s Addition Historic District

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The Ninth Avenue Historic District

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The Marycliff-Cliff Park District

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Rockwood Historic District

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West Downtown Historic Transportation Corridor

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East Downtown Historic District

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Peaceful Valley Historic District

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Riverside Avenue Historic District

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Nettleton’s Addition Historic District

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Desmet Avenue Warehouse Historic District

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Mission Avenue Historic District

The highway climbs gradually but steadily. The southern extremities of the Pend Oreille Highlands and Mount Spokane appear darkly purple. Scabrock vestiges of the lava plain that survived the eroding glacial waters of prehistoric times are visible. The buttes form the eastern end of the Spokane Divide, a small distinct fold in the earth’s crust originating in the Badger Mountains. The highway runs through a barren plain sprinkled with dry...

Learn more about Plains

Mile: 279

A rustic stone pyramid, nine feet high, commemorates the site of the Battle of Spokane Plains, fought on September 5, 1858. Rumors that the Mullan Road would bring a flood of whites into the region had caused an uprising of allied Coeur d’Alene, Palouse, and Spokane Indians. Colonel George Wright, with 700 men, decisively defeated the Indians at this point after a running battle from Four Lakes. The monument is...

Learn more about Spokane Plains Monument

Mile: 275

A cluster of neat houses and buildings marks this spot, founded in 1878, a milling point during the 1880s. Deep fishing holes are formed by Deep Creek Falls, and there is a trout farm near by. The town was platted by Daniel, Alfred, Lucy, and Nancy Stroup on May 14, 1883. Its first name was Deep Creek Falls, which is descriptive of the location. It became Deepcreek in 1894 and...

Learn more about Deep Creek

Mile: 272

This town came into existence after enterprising settlers dug a well here, proving to railroad engineers that water was available. It once was called Capp’s Place, but the name was changed to honor civil engineer C. F. Reardon, who was in charge of construction on the Central Washington Railway after the line was extended through the site in 1889. Mule shows, at which especially fine animals of the Northwest were...

Learn more about Reardan

Mile: 264

Sidetrip: Mondovi

A short 4 mile round trip excursion to Mondovi affords an opportunity to drive out through the wheat fields to the small town nestled amongst the hills.

Take the Mondovi side trip

This Lincoln County seat, west of Spokane, is wheat country. Precipitation is light, but bountiful crops are the rule, for the moisture, most of which falls between October and April, is retained by deep, rich soil. Soft wheat is best adapted to the soil and the climate; one variety, bluestem, was so popular that a small settlement south of Davenport was named for it.  Davenport was founded in 1881 by...

Learn more about Davenport

Mile: 251

This tour traverses an uneven plateau, broken here and there by small hills. The greater part of this area was once planted to wheat, with large, well-cultivated farms and usually weatherworn and dilapidated houses and barns. Gradually the terrain becomes more rugged, and the hills, partially covered by scraggly bull pine, crowd closer to the highway. Alarmed by passing automobiles, plump ground squirrels, numerous in this section, tumble into their...

Learn more about North Pole Stock Ranch

Mile: 244

This town was named about 1889 by engineers for the Northern Pacific Railway, because Brown’s Butte, overlooking the town on the south, is the crest of land, at an elevation of 2,462 feet, in the Big Bend Country. The town made headlines August 5, 1902, when Harry Tracy, notorious outlaw, committed suicide here. Tracy had roamed the country as a desperate criminal until finally confined in the Oregon State Penitentiary....

Learn more about Creston

Mile: 230

This town depended largely on the Columbia River Flour Milling plant, where flour, bran, shorts, and middlings are produced. It is also a shipping point for the San Foil mining district in the Okanogan country. Completion of the Grand Coulee Dam increased economic growth in Wilbur, but like the other communities in Lincoln County, it never reached boomtown capacity and remained a modest wheat-farming town. There is no longer a...

Learn more about Wilbur
Points of Interest
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City Park

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Lauritzen Barn

Mile: 221

This town grew rapidly when construction on the Coulee Dam began and became known as “The Gateway City to the Grand Coulee Dam,” serving as the construction headquarters for a period of time. It was also a shipping point for wheat; nearly 750,000 bushels were handled each year through its warehouses. This area is adapted to dry wheat farming and sheep and cattle grazing. Water is supplied here by deep...

Learn more about Almira
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Almira Hotel

Mile: 210

Hartline, with its row of towering wheat elevators along the railroad tracks, owes its economic existence to the fertile wheatlands surrounding it. The townsite was part of the holdings of John Hartline. West of Hartline are evidences of a large lake that once flooded the area. According to geologists, this silty depression among the scablands, known locally as Dry Alkali Lake, is a part of the Hartline Basin. Glacial deposits...

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Points of Interest
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Hartline School

Mile: 201

This is the only point between the site of Coulee Dam and Soap Lake, where the Grand Coulee can be crossed. In the early days of the region, Coulee City, incorporated in 1890, was the junction point of the railroad and stage lines running to points along the Columbia River and to the Okanogan country. Guy Waring, in My Pioneer Past, comments: “At Coulee City the branch train arrived too...

Learn more about Coulee City

Mile: 191

Named for Chief Moses, this town was also formed by glacial floods, created during the last Ice Age, between 12,000 and 20,000 years ago. The 500-foot basalt cliffs offer some of the most geologically dramatic landscapes in Washington. Moses Coulee is one of the largest and most intact areas of shrub-steppe habitat remaining in the state. The Nature Conservancy protects a 3,588-acre portion of the area, known as the Moses...

Learn more about Moses Coulee

Mile: 170

Among the state’s small towns, Waterville contains one of the most intact and cohesive collections of historic buildings, many of which are listed either individually or as part of a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places and Washington Heritage Register. The highway curves through the shaded streets of Waterville, at the foot of Badger Mountain and east of the Columbia River. Clay pits and limestone quarries once...

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Points of Interest
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Smith Hospital and Douglas County Press Building

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Canton House

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Douglas County Courthouse

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Nifty Theatre

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Waterville Hotel

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St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

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Downtown Waterville Historic District

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Melvin Barn

Mile: 150

At the mouth of Pine, or Corbaley, Canyon, on the Columbia River, it was founded by J. B. Smith in 1886. A ferry (50 cents daytime, 75 cents at night) once connected with Entiat. According to Smith, the lore went that Orondo was the superintendent of the ancient Lake Superior copper mines, and had about 1,000 miners under his charge when their native continent of Atlantis sunk beneath the ocean....

Learn more about Orondo

Mile: 140

This town lies at the east end of an early steel bridge spanning the Columbia River connecting it to Wenatchee, which became a leading apple producer once irrigation hydrated the land. Spurred on by the construction of several irrigation projects, the once barren land of the Wenatchee Valley was quickly developed into a leading agriculture area. The newly watered valley was planted with fruit trees, and Wenatchee and the surrounding...

Learn more about East Wenatchee
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Gensinger Farmstead

Mile: 3

Close to the geographic center of the state, this town became a fruit growing capital. The name is from the Indian word, We-na-tcha or We-na-tchi, meaning “river issuing from a canyon.” In 1805, Lewis and Clark used the word Wahnahchee in referring to this location and the name has been adopted for other geographical features on the east side of the Cascade Mountains in north central Washington State. The mid-1920s...

Learn more about Wenatchee
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Wenatchee Confluence State Park

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Ohme Gardens

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Columbia and Okanogan Steamship Company Boat Yard

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Wells House

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Wenatchee Carnegie Library

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U.S. Post Office and Annex

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Wenatchee Fire Station #1

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St. Joseph Church and Rectory

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Columbia River Bridge

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Horan House

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Wentachee Avenue Southbound Bridge

Outside of Wenatchee, the highway becomes a narrow lane between apple orchards, a foam of bloom in the spring. At the opening of the harvest season, which begins early with peaches, pears, and soft fruits, the valley is the mecca for thousands who seek work in the orchards. Men, women, and children in all sorts of vehicles invade the city, crowd the auto camps, and fill the camps established on...

Learn more about Sunnyslope

A typical apple-country town, with conspicuous warehouses and attractive school. Monitor is a community six-and-a-half miles northwest of Wenatchee on the Wenatchee River. The name was chosen by townsite platters for reasons which are not of record, and which appear to have no local significance. Prior to platting, the place was known as Brown’s Flats.

Learn more about Monitor
Points of Interest
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Burbank Homestead Waterwheel

In 1907, the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company constructed a two-span steel pin connected Pratt truss over the Wenatchee River. This 320-foot structure consists of two 140 foot steel trusses, and two 20-foot timber trestle approach spans. Each truss is composed of seven 20 foot panels, and rests on two pairs of riveted steel cylinder piers which are filled with concrete, and are braced by two eyebars with turnbuckles....

Learn more about West Monitor Bridge

Shaded by locust and maple trees, this is an orchard community but perhaps best known as the home of “Aplets, the confection of the fairies,” a sweetmeat flavored with apple juice and enriched by walnuts and spices. Tours are available of the Liberty Orchards Factory, which makes Aplets and Cotlets along with other fruit candies and chocolates, at the corner of Aplets Way and Mission Ave. Cashmere’s main commercial street...

Learn more about Cashmere
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Cottage Avenue Historic District

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The Pioneer Village

The tour follows the banks of the winding Wenatchee River, above which rise foothills dotted with clumps of pines. Orchards claim every available foot of valley land. Dryden, a fruit-packing and shipping center, was named by the Great Northern Railroad in honor of a noted Canadian horticulturist. In 1907, it was named by Great Northern Railway officials, for an eminent Canadian horticulturist who accompanied James Hill on a tour through...

Learn more about Dryden
Points of Interest
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Johnson Barn

The lodge, heavily altered from the original structure, is now a restaurant and trading post. Across US 97 (Old Blewett Rd.) are campgrounds and Ingalls Creek Road. Ingalls Creek is a small community on the Peshastin River opposite its mouth. Captain Benjamin Ingalls led a party of surveyors and guards, over two hundred men in all, over the Wenatchee Mountains around 1855. He is reportedly the first person to discover...

Learn more about Ingalls Creek Lodge

Mile: 178

Prospectors returning from British Columbia’s Cariboo and Fraser districts in 1860 wandered into the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and began placer mining on the creeks. The town was named Edward Blewitt of Seattle, who operated a gold mining company that owned many of the claims in the area. At one time, more than 300 miners worked in the area. Prior to 1879, Blewett was reached only by trail; in...

Learn more about Blewett
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The Blewett Arrastra

Mile: 174

East of Cle Elum near the junction of the Teanaway and Yakima Rivers, this town began as a stopping point at the foot of two mountain passes, when four-horse vehicles caromed through the canyons and along the dusty roads. It once was a fairly important place at the time of gold excitement in Blewett Pass to the northeast. The Indian name translates to “place of fish and berries.” The book,...

Learn more about Teanaway

Mile: 3

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