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Washington State Park Interpretive Centers

Washington State Park Interpretive Centers

As you plan your tour of state parks in Washington this summer, don’t forget to check out many of the great interpretive centers. Explore the history of the region – from the ice age floods at Dry Falls to the largest amateur built telescopes in the country at Goldendale Observatory. What history will you explore this summer?

Cape Disappointment

Retrace the steps of the Corp of Discovery at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park. Set on a cliff high above the Pacific Ocean, the center features interactive exhibits, a short film, a gift shop and a glassed-in observation deck with sweeping views of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.

Dry Falls

Learn about the Ice Age floods at the Dry Falls Visitor Center at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park. The Center overlooks a 400-foot-deep chasm in the Grand Coulee carved out by massive floods thousands of years ago.

Ginkgo Petrified Forest

Perched on a cliff face carved out by mighty Ice Age floods, Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center overlooks the beautiful Columbia River. Inside the Center, displays, videos and park staff inform visitors about the history behind this unique and unusual petrified forest, and the powerful Ice Age floods, responsible for the visually captivating surrounding landscape. Outside the Center visitors can enjoy the day use/picnic area, view the scenic river, touch petrified wood and learn about the Ice Age floods.

Goldendale Observatory

The Goldendale Observatory features one of the nation’s largest public telescopes and has attracted tens of thousands of sky-watchers since its dedication in 1973. The park offers spectacular views of the countryside from atop the observatory hill in the daytime, and magnificent views of the universe at night.

Olmstead Place

Olmstead Place Historical State Park is a working pioneer farm located near Ellensburg, WA. The site features an 1870s-era homestead cabin, and a historic farmhouse and barn, which are open for guided tours.


Overlooking the confluence of the Columbia and the Snake Rivers, the Sacajawea Interpretive Center tells the story of the Corps of Discovery, their Native American guide Sacajawea, and the Sahaptian-speaking Native Americans that they encountered on their journey west. The center is located in Sacajawea State Park in Pasco.

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