Grand Coulee Dam 4th of July
June 29, 2014 5:11 PM   Subscribe

We're going to the laser and firework show at the dam this year for the first time. I did some research and they are expecting 15,000 people for the show. Has anybody else been there before? I need some hints to make it more fun and not a hassle. Do we watch from the vehicle or should we bring blankets and a picnic, how early should we show up, best viewpoint, parking, etc.? Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks!
posted by cliffster99 to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
When I've gone to events where there's a predictably large traffic snarl, we take bicycles so we can park farther away, pointing homewards, and get to and from the event by bike. It's the 4th of July, I'd bring a picnic.
posted by theora55 at 5:15 PM on June 29, 2014

Excellent idea, but we'll have 5 people in one vehicle and with everybody's stuff, no room for bikes and the dam is 90 minutes away over a mountain pass.
posted by cliffster99 at 5:44 PM on June 29, 2014

I've been through there dozens of times but never on the fourth. West side under the trees is your best bet. It is exhaustingly hot and mostly shadeless on the east side. I don't know if you are coming from Ephrata or Ellensburgh but along the 2 which crosses the dam go west [young people] by the visitor center and hide under the trees.

More importantly you really want to camp at Sun Lakes. Or I might hunt you down. Take the 17 down the coulee and make the left. Camp, eat food, sleep, wake up. Take a right at the Meadow lake fork and Go To Deep Lake. It's one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Stop by the Dry Falls Interpretive Center on your way out. It's a fucking trip. Lake Missoula had a periodic ice dam holding back the ... well I'll let you read here. Well no I won't. Dry falls used to have these catastrophic floods where half the volume of Lake Michigan was released in two days. The water was three hundred feet deep and moving at eighty miles an hour.

Ok I quit now but seriously if you haven't, go see it. And don't tell anyone about Deep Lake.
posted by vapidave at 6:44 PM on June 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I concur about Deep Lake. I think you have to walk into it though. It was one of the smaller state parks that was closed.
posted by OkTwigs at 7:12 PM on June 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I went more than a decade ago as a kid and not on the 4th.

When we went, we showed up several hours early and played on the rocks. They're fascinating to any amateur geologist or kids who just like to climb around. When it was time for the laser show, we ended up sitting on the rocks to do so.
posted by bookdragoness at 5:25 AM on June 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

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