Explore Small Cities & Towns in Washington’s Ponderosa Region

Known to some as Washington’s final frontier, the Ponderosa Region is dotted with small towns that reflect the area’s pioneer spirit.

Get to know some of the small cities and towns in each region, from hamlets of 100 to those with up to around 10,000 residents. These destinations offer visitors a more laid-back alternative to bustling cities. Read on to find out why these small towns are worth exploring.

Colville

Located in a broad valley surrounded by the Colville National Forest, Colville is home to a wealth of hiking, mountain biking, and ski trails. The town, which was founded in 1882, has its history rooted in the fur trade. Visitors can explore the Keller Heritage Center, which includes a museum and the town’s first school, a hand-hewn log building.

Chewelah

This Colville Valley community is the gateway to the Flowery Trail, a scenic mountain road. Head to nearby 49° North Mountain Resort, a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts, or stay in town to try your luck at the Chewelah Casino. Those interested in history can explore the Walt Goodman Historical Museum’s collection of photographs, letters, and exhibits dedicated to pioneer life.

Davenport

About 45 minutes west of Spokane and surrounded by rolling wheat fields, Davenport offers plenty of attractions. The Lincoln County Historical Museum tells the story of the community and includes old photos and farm machinery. The town celebrates its heritage every July with Pioneer Days and the Lincoln County Fair & Rodeo in August. For those craving nature, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is easily reachable by car.

Metaline Falls

Perched on the banks of the Pend Oreille River and surrounded by lofty peaks, tiny Metaline Falls was the site of a cement plant for 75 years. Today, more than a dozen historic structures, including the old cement plant, the historic Washington Hotel, and the 1912 Metaline Falls School (now the Cutter Theatre), still stand. In addition to live performances, the theater also serves as a library, art gallery, and event center.

Newport

Originally in Idaho, Newport relocated to Washington when the local post office moved. Many of its historic artifacts are on display at the Pend Oreille County Historical Society and Museum, which includes the original Idaho & Washington Northern depot from 1908. Newport’s downtown invites leisurely strolls, while the nearby Upper & Lower Wolf Trails are great options for hikers of all ages.

Republic

Founded as Eureka after an 1896 gold rush, Republic retains its pioneer charm to this day. Nestled in a valley between Wauconda and Sherman passes, the town is known for fossils, natural beauty, and a history steeped in the mining and logging industries. You won’t find traffic lights or chain stores here. Instead, you’ll find plenty of dining options, an art gallery, the Ferry County Historical Society, and the chance to dig for fossils at the renowned Stonerose Interpretive Center and Eocene Fossil Site.