Rock Island Dam is located on the Columbia River, just south of Wenatchee. The community of Rock Island sits near it on the east side of the river and the town of Malaga is near it on the west side. ALCOA’s Wenatchee Works plant is located near Rock Island Dam as well. The dam has no visitor center or viewpoint, but has a unique look to it and can be seen from Highway 28 on the east side of the river.
Fun Facts About Rock Island Dam
-Rock Island Dam touches Chelan County on the west side of the Columbia River and Douglas County on the east side.
-Construction began on Rock Island Dam in 1930 and was completed in 1933.
-The name given to the water backed up behind Rock Island Dam on the Columbia River is the Rock Island Pool.
-Rock Island Dam is home to 19 turbine engines used to produce electricity.
-Rock Island Dam was the first dam to span the Columbia River.
-It is 453 miles by river from Rock Island Dam to the Pacific Ocean.
-Rock Island Dam sits 235 river miles downstream from the Canadian border.
-Rock Island Dam is operated by the Chelan County PUD.
-Rock Island Dam has 31 spillway gates. In a unique design, they are divided by the center fishway with 14 spillway gates on the east side of the river and 17 on the west side.
-When installed in the mid 1970s, the eight horizontal bulb generators in Rock Island Dam’s second powerhouse were the largest of that type in the world.
-The dam immediately upstream from Rock Island Dam is Rocky Reach Dam. The dam immediately downstream from it is Wanapum Dam.
-Prior to Rock Island Dam being built, that part of the Columbia River featured a number of channels and sections of rapids that had to be navigated, sometimes unsuccessfully, by riverboats hauling goods and passengers up and down the river.
Featured Attractions / Activities Near Rock Island Dam
Pybus Public Market
Lincoln Rock State Park
Wenatchee Confluence State Park
Apple Capital Loop Trail
Rock Island Golf Course
Crescent Bar Resort – Golf
The Gorge Amphitheatre