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Visitor Guide


For relocation or visitor information contact:
111 W. Main Ave
Ritzville, WA 99169

Mailing Address:
PO Box 122
Ritzville, WA 99169

Moose in Ritzville

With wide-open landscapes and a natural disposition to the outdoor life, adventure awaits visitors to the Ritzville area.

Whether you're hankering for an excursion in the snow or on the water, Ritzville is the place! Numerous lakes and rivers are the perfect spots for boating and water skiing while the adjoining countryside offers land lovers an arena for hiking, camping, horseback riding, geocaching, exploring and more.

When fall and winter arrive, Ritzville's rolling wheat fields become the perfect location for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. For the more traditional winter sports, snowboarding, skiing and more are just a bit down the road from Ritzville.

Ritzville also sits in the heart of the Channeled Scablands - the Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington are unique on earth; only on the planet Mars are similar landforms found.

Thirty million to 10 million years ago, numerous lava eruptions poured out from fissures, miles in length, onto the Eastern Washington landscape. Some of these flows were small, while others traveled more than 100 miles with depths up to 75 feet. This lava hardened into basalt rock, which measured to a depth of over 10,000 feet in some areas.

Near the end of the last Ice Age 20,000 years ago, an ice lobe dammed the mouth of the Clark Fork River in Northern Idaho. Water rose behind this dam and extended into Montana, forming Glacial Lake Missoula, which covered 3,000 square miles at a depth of 2,000 feet with an estimated volume of half of present-day Lake Michigan. When the lake reached the height of the ice dam, water began to breach it. It is estimated that within two days the dam completely failed, releasing a flood of water toward present-day Spokane. It is also estimated that the lake was drained in less than three days and the discharge was 10 times the current flow of all the rivers of the world.

The catastrophic floodwaters quickly reached the Spokane Valley. From there to present-day Grand Coulee Dam the water overflowed the river valley onto the upper edge of the tilted basalt field. The floods followed the natural slope to the Pasco Basin, through Wallula Gap and onto the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River valley. While overflowing the basalt field, the waters easily eroded the loess soil and cut canyons into the underlying fractured basalt. Soils deposited in the Pasco Basin and Walla Walla valley were blown again northwesterly to form the Palouse Hills.

Adams County's landscape is littered with huge boulders 'dropped' here and there by the floods. The great floods of the Ice Age drastically changed the course of the Palouse River, originally, it flowed through present-day Hooper, Washtucna, Kahlotus and Connell to enter the Columbia River near Pasco.

Floodwaters that spilled onto the plateau in the Spokane area traveled southwest through present-day Cheney and Sprague.

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