Tour the Lakes of Central Washington State

Set between sagebrush-covered hills and pine forests are dozens of scenic lakes, plus the Columbia River.

Looking to cool off? Hit the road to explore some of the area's many lakes and reservoirs.

From Ellensburg, head to the small towns of Quincy and Crescent Bar, which provide easy access to the glorious Columbia River. Head farther east on Interstate 90 to Moses Lake. The lake here sprawls south of I-90 and north alongside the town.

Highway 17 leads north from here to the mineral-rich Soap Lake. The tiny town is home to a resort and spa dedicated to what many consider to be healing waters. Follow the lake until it disappears from view, then turn northeast on Highway 2 until you come to Banks Lake and Coulee City, where Wild West gamblers have given way to fishers looking to hook walleyes. Don’t miss nearby Dry Falls, remnants of what was once the largest waterfall known to have existed on earth.

Highway 155 skirts the eastern edge of the lake here to Electric City below the Grand Coulee Dam. Alternately, slide along Highway 17 to Bridgeport, set along Rufus Woods Lake, and Brewster. The little town north of Lake Chelan sits at the confluence of the Okanogan and Columbia rivers, near the shores of Lake Pateros.