There are many ways to take this road trip and it’s best experienced over two or three days. It overlaps part of the Ice Age Floods road trip and the Historic Highlands road trip. It’s a road trip of history and discovery, art and geographic wonders.
Nespelem and Republic
Start your adventure in Omak, WA. As you drive east on Omak Ave. E (Hwy 155) you’ll pass historic St. Mary’s Mission and drive through Disautel Pass. Keep your eyes open, there’s roadside art along the way to Nespelem.
From Nespelem you’ll connect to Hwy 21 and drive north to Republic and along the scenic San Poil River. After Republic, gorgeous vistas await as you take Hwy 20 east through the Sherman Pass Scenic Byway. From here you can access Kettle Falls or Colville for overnight accommodations.
Inchelium and Twin Lakes
Take your time as you travel south down Hwy 3 along the Columbia River. At Inchelium, take Bridge Creek Road (Hwy 2) west to the Twin Lakes Recreation Area. With cabin rentals and wifi available, stay for a few hours or stay the night. Enjoy swimming, boating, or fish your day away.
From Twin Lakes, take a scenic drive through the mountains on Hwy 2 until you connect back up with Hwy 21. After Keller, drive a little further south on Hwy 21 and take the WA State DOT River Ferry across the Columbia River. Note the stark contrast from one side of the river to the other. Cross back over on the ferry and then take Manila Creek Road / Peter Dan Road towards Hwy 155. As you drive along marvel at the view of the Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt.
Grand Coulee Dam
Coulee City and Grand Coulee Dam take a day to explore. The town of Coulee Dam has the Colville Tribal Museum and Gift Shop as well as Indian Gaming. Stay the night and watch the laser light show at Grand Coulee Dam that teaches the history of this land.
From Coulee Dam to Omak you’ll see more roadside art as you drive along Hwy 155. At Nespelem Agency Square leave Hwy 155 head west on the Columbia River Road. Take in the scenic wonder of the mighty Columbia River as you drive along this route. You will notice large aquaculture pens along the river near Rufus Woods Park and may see a variety of wildlife including bald eagles, deer and coyote. Those bighorn sheep and mountain goats you see are more roadside art. Before connecting back with Route 97 at Omak, spend some time relaxing in the scenic beauty of Omak Lake. Once back in Omak, stay at the 12 Tribes Resort Casino.
Need to Know:
|Loop distance:||493 km (306 mi)|
|Duration of drive:||2 – 3 days|
|Best time to drive:||Year round|
|Watch for:||Wildife: Eagles, Deer, Coyote, Mountain Goats, Bighorn Sheep|
Omak Visitor Center
401 Omak Avenue
Toll Free: 1-800-225-6625
Colville Confederated Tribes
44 School Loop Road
Republic Regional Visitors
and Convention Bureau
15-1 N. Kean St
Phone: (509) 775-3387
Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center
WA-155, Coulee Dam, WA 99116