Friday, July 4, 2014

Chief Joseph Dam

My journey home from Minnesota the other weekend took me past Chief Joseph Dam in Bridgeport, Washington. It is not often that you see water spilling over the dam so of course I had to stop!

A Huge Flag on the Dam Powerhouse - Happy Fourth of July!

Chief Joseph Dam is the second largest hydropower dam in the United States (Grand Coulee Dam is the largest) and is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The single powerhouse is over a third of a mile long and can supply enough power for the entire Seattle metropolitan area. Whew!

Panoramic View of the Dam

There are several viewpoints around the dam. One puts you almost at the base of the dam where you can feel the mist on your skin.

Spray Mist at the Base of the Dam

Another viewpoint is higher up overlooking the dam and the Columbia River.

The Spillway from up high

Yet another viewpoint is on top of the dam. You first see the calmness of Rufus Woods Lake that is created by the dam before reaching a parking area that provides another view of the spillway.

Rufus Woods Lake behind the Dam

Another view of the Spillway

Looking across the top of the dam, closed to public access like all dams are today

As I drove to the viewpoint on top of the dam, there were several marmots scampering about. The noise of the car scared them and they went into hiding, except for this brave one...

Marmot sunning himself at the dam

Just for kicks, I went back to the viewpoint at the base of the dam and made a short video. Listen to the roar of the rushing water!

Happy Fourth of July to all of my American friends!


  1. the video wouldn't play for me, but it is probably just my iffy connection speed. the dam is a remarkable feat of engineering! loved the flag they put on it. :)

  2. Cool shots of the dam. Love the Marmot! Happy 4th of July to you!

  3. i could use that mist to cool down! :)

  4. Super pics, Sally. Bob and I go by the Dam alot but never stop. Last time he wanted to or at least said so but I was ready to forge on. Next time we will at least go to the viewpoint. Thanks for showing it. MB

  5. The dam down the road from us is nothing like this one...:)JP

  6. i wonder if this the dam that Harrison Ford jumped from in the movie The Fugitive? it sort of looks like it? happy 4th!!! ( :

  7. That's massive ... I didn't know anything about it, although I'm familiar very with the dams along the Columbia Gorge and we have visited Grand Coulee. Did you have to go through a security check point?


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