Map by John King (Click to Enlarge)
By John King
This South Columbia Basin Auto Tour loop covers that ground in a clockwise loop that departs from the community of Vantage on the Columbia River. From there, the loop heads east to the getaway destination of Moses Lake, south through the picturesque Potholes Reservoir and agricultural community of Othello, west through the bustling Tri-Cities and northward along the Columbia River before returning to Vantage; along the way, it covers roughly 230 miles and takes four hours, 30 minutes to drive without stops. That said, travelers from Western Washington may find this tour works best as a scenic drive en route to Walla Walla or Pendleton; the Vantage-Moses Lake-Tri-Cities one-way segment clocks in at 120 miles and two hours without stops.
Because of COVID-19, please take recommended health precautions and verify the availability of amenities and attraction before you go.
Begin the tour at Vantage, take I-90 and don’t miss Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, Grand Coulee Dam, Moses Lake’s Blue Heron Park, along the way.
Enjoy the view of crops fields, stop at Potholes Reservoir for summer activities and camping, explore the downtown of Othello or grab a bite in Mesa.
Find out what to do in Pasco, Richland and Kennewick. Explore the towns and learn about their history and attractions along the way.
Via S.R. 240 and S.R. 243, see Rattlesnake Mountain, Mattawa’s orchards and vineyards, Wanapum Dam, and more.