Rocky Reach Discovery Center is located on the west side of Rocky Reach Dam, easily accessible from Highway 97A, and offers ample parking for guests, including recreational vehicles and buses.
Guests will discover a museum, a café, balconies that offer panoramic views of the dam and grounds, the juvenile fish bypass system, the reservoir (Lake Entiat) and the Columbia River. A 90-seat theater shows movies throughout the day and upon request. Guided tours are available by appointment.
Discovery Center Access and Security Policy
5000 State Hwy 97A
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Rocky Reach Discovery Center, Rocky Reach Park, and the Museum of the Columbia are closed for the season and will reopen in the Spring of 2019.
For information about upcoming events, group tours, weddings in our pergola, and reservation questions, please call (509) 663-7522.
Shelter reservations are
required. Please click
here to reserve a shelter online.
Hydropower and STEM Career Academy
The FWEE Hydropower and STEM Career Academy can help you make the best choice for what your future might hold. You’ll explore the physics of producing hydropower, race solar cars and fly your own drone. These are part of STEM challenges that include meeting and doing hands-on activities with mechanical and electrical engineers, plant mechanics and operators, divers, and linemen. As the week unfolds, career options and educational pathways that may inspire you to pursue a four year college, community college and/or an apprenticeship program will be revealed. These are exciting careers available in the communities you call home. College advisors and mentors will also be on hand to identify the prerequisites and academic achievement needed to pursue these and related careers. The goal is to help you connect what’s going on in the classroom with possible careers in very direct, meaningful ways. This offering comes from industry and educational professionals from around the Northwest. Their desire to engage with you is best described with the phrase “pay it forward,” an expression describing someone who benefited from a good deed and wishes to repay it to others. Each of your instructors has a story, often with twists and turns, about finding a career that brings them joy every day. Could their story be yours?
Look a salmon in the eye
A highlight of any visit to the Rocky Reach Discovery Center is the opportunity for a close-up view of fish passing through the fishway. The fish viewing room, with five windows located on the west side of the fish ladder, allows visitors to watch salmon, steelhead, trout and other species continue their upstream migration to spawning areas.
Salmon and steelhead are seasonal visitors. The best months of the year to see chinook salmon are May and August. Sockeye salmon are most visible during July, and it's September for steelhead. "Look a salmon in the eye" in the fish viewing room, located downstairs in the Visitor Center at Rocky Reach Dam.
Visit the powerhouse
After completing a tour of the Discovery Center, guests can walk along the forebay deck to the powerhouse and take an elevator down to the fourth floor where they can enjoy a number of exhibits and observation points. Self-guided tours take guests through the Museum of the Columbia, featuring a look back at the rich history of early life along the Columbia River. Other powerhouse displays include a Nez Perce Indian portrait collection, display of Rock Island Dam, Edisonia collection, and changing art, craft and floral exhibits. Balconies provide visitors with views of the full length of the powerhouse, the spillway, fish ladder, juvenile fish bypass, and Columbia River.
Room to play
Adjacent to the Discovery Center and powerhouse are acres of award-winning lawns and gardens. Special features include Petunia Island, where 8,000 brilliantly colored annual flowers are planted in a new design every year, and a large Chelan County PUD logo is composed of colorful flowers. Another display of bright red, white and blue annual flowers depicts the U.S. flag, and dozens of varieties of dahlias and the wide open space of lawn, clusters of alpine trees, picnic areas and playground equipment await the visitor. A turbine exhibit was constructed on the Rocky Reach grounds in the summer of 1998. The hub and blades of Generating Unit C5 were saved for the exhibit following C5's rehabilitation.
Tour the Rocky Reach Park Arboretum
From flowering magnolias to towering pines, Rocky Reach Park is home to a broad variety of beautiful trees. This diversity is cataloged, mapped, and explained in a self-guided tour of the Rocky Reach Park Arboretum. A brochure provides information about 42 species of trees at the Rocky Reach Park Arboretum, showing guests where trees are located and guiding them in a walking loop that starts and ends at the Discovery Center parking lot. It’s an easy walk that takes 1 to 2 hours. View the brochure.
Rocky Reach Cafe
Come have lunch, enjoy the view overlooking the Columbia River and the beautiful gardens in Rocky Reach Park. Mama D's café at Rocky Reach Discovery Center is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sunday. Questions? Call the café at (509) 661-4949.
Special events area
If you're planning a wedding or other intimate event, call us to reserve the pergola on the Rocky Reach grounds. Celebrate your special event surrounded by lush flowers and the sound of the Columbia River. Call (509) 663-7522 to reserve this space at no cost. Wedding reservations are accepted year-round.