It’s been nearly 13,000 years since catastrophic Ice Age floods swept through northeast Washington State, gouging out deep, dry canyons, exposing basalt columns and leaving behind glacial “debris” and rocks twisted into shapes that look like they belong on some other earth. The 150-mile long Coulee Corridor National Scenic Byway which transits this landscape gets its name from the deep, flood cut canyons called “coulees,” a French word for the dry riverbed.
Yet, the landscape along the Coulee Corridor is hardly dry. At the northern end, you’ll be following Omah Lake, the Columbia River, and Banks Lake, which leads to the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.
Emerging from the shadow of coulees, you’ll come upon Sun Lakes State Park, Park Lake, Blue Lake, Alkali Lake, Lenore Lake, Little Soap Lake, Soap Lake, and Moses Lake, all sparkling bright waters surrounded by the rugged, rocky landscape.
On routes that were once trodden by Native Americans, early European explorers, and French- Canadian fur traders, take time to explore quaint cowboy towns with little shops, museums, and willow-shaded parks.