Ice Age Floods Loop

Thousands of years ago, cataclysmic floods swept through the northwestern states, carving out some of the most astounding landscapes. These landscapes are part of the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, which the Ice Age Floods Loop will take you through.

From Route 97 in Wenatchee, take WA-28 east approximately 54.5 mi (88 km) before turning left onto WA-17 north toward Coulee City. Approximately 19 mi (30.5 km) north, you’ll find the turnoff for Dry Falls, a dormant Ice Age waterfall and a natural wonder rich in history and scenery. From there, continue along WA-17 to connect with US-2 before traveling westbound toward the ghost town of Farmer. This former agricultural community in Douglas County emerged in the late 19th century along with the Great Northern Railroad. Today, all that remains is a community hall, an old cemetery, and several abandoned structures waiting to be explored by history buffs.

Continue west toward the town of Waterville, just 13.5 miles (22 km) from Farmer. Encircled by expansive wheat fields, Waterville offers picturesque views of the Cascade Mountain Range alongside historic buildings and outdoor recreation.

From there, it’s just a 27.5 mi (44 km) journey through the orchard town of Orondo back to Wenatchee to conclude this short, but historic, road trip.

NOT TO BE MISSED

Dry Falls

is a geological remnant of the Ice Age Floods that swept through the region thousands of years ago. Over 3.5 miles wide and with a 400-foot drop, it is now home to breathtaking vistas and an abundance of wildlife.

Soap Lake

is a meromictic soda lake whose waters are so rich in minerals they appear foamy and soapy. Traditionally, the Indigenous peoples have long thought the lake to be of great medicinal value, used for relaxation and healing.

The Highland School House

is an abandoned schoolhouse that lies just off of US-2. While little is known about its history, it was built in 1905 and its last class occurred in 1949.

KEY ANNUAL EVENTS

Suds n Sun Day & Parade (Soap Lake, July)

North Central Washington Fair (Waterville, August)

Soap Lake Winterfest (Soap Lake, December)