Local residents and visitors will have a number of outdoor opportunities along the Columbia River this summer recreation season.
Grant PUD operates 19 recreation sites on or near the Columbia River. Recreation sites with boat launches include the Priest Rapids Recreation Area, Buckshot, Huntzinger, Wanapum Dam Lower, Wanapum Dam Upper, Vantage, Frenchman Coulee and Apricot Orchards. The new Chinook Park boat launch located off-island at Crescent Bar, will open to the public on May 26. Fuel will also be available at the Chinook Park boat launch when it opens.
Boaters should be mindful that, because of on-going construction in the Crescent Bar area, parking is limited at the Chinook Park boat launch. Those with off-site parking are encouraged to use that option.
The two-lane launch and boat dock is the first of several new and enhanced amenities that will be free and open to the general public visiting the Crescent Bar Recreation area. The new RV campground and other facilities, including parks, beaches and walking trails, are expected to open by late June to early July following several months of construction. The golf course is also now open throughout the season.
Grant PUD’s recreation sites offer day-use visitors free, family-friendly fun in the sun and are one of the many ways Grant PUD powers our local way of life. During the Memorial Day weekend, overnight camping, which requires a fee, will also available at four campgrounds: Priest Rapids Recreation Area, Sand Hollow, Rocky Coulee and Jackson Creek Fish Camp. For information about Grant PUD’s recreation options, visit http://grantpud.org/recreation.
Grant PUD wants everyone to enjoy a safe time along the river by following these safety guidelines:
- Water released from the dams can create hazardous boating conditions. Sudden water level fluctuations can impact the shoreline. Make sure your boat stays wet and anchor well off shore.
- Safety barriers located above both Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams are there to keep everyone safe. Do not go beyond the safety barriers under any circumstances. If someone gets in trouble and goes beyond the barriers, call 911 immediately.
- Check the weather forecast before starting out. Watch for any wave, wind and cloud changes that signal bad weather is heading your way.
- Make sure water and weather conditions are safe before entering the water. Cold water reduces body heat 25 times faster than air at the same temperature. The Columbia River can be cold enough to cause serious harm. Wearing a life jacket increases your survival time.
- There are no lifeguards on duty at our recreation sites. Please be careful.