Roughly 15,000 years ago, Mother Nature unleashed a spectacle that would forever transform the Pacific Northwest – the colossal breaking of an ice dam, sending glacial waters cascading across the region. This monumental event crafted the picturesque landscape we now know as the Wenatchee Valley.

Today, intrepid explorers can relive this ancient saga by traversing the Ice Age Loop, a 114-mile segment of the Ice Age Floods Geological Trail. Start in East Wenatchee and buckle up for a scenic car ride, where you'll encounter awe-inspiring vistas, fascinating geological wonders, and iconic landmarks that stand as testament to the Earth's dramatic past.

To kick off your adventure, grab the Ice Age Floods Geological Trail Map* and choose one of the two Washington-based routes. Whether you opt for the 30-mile loop around the Wenatchee Valley or the 164-mile extravaganza around Central Washington, prepare for an epic road trip, and a journey through eons of geological history. Here are some must-see attractions as you embark on your adventure:

·   Grand Coulee National Landmark: Flowing lava formed the Columbia Plateau, changing the Columbia River's path. As those lava beds changed shape, glaciers moved forward and backward, and a new river route was carved, which you can see from the geographical elements at this viewpoint.

·   Grand Coulee Dam: This dam is one of the largest concrete structures in the United States, standing 550 feet tall and spanning 1.2 miles across the Columbia River. During the last Ice Age, an ice floe blocked the river, causing it to divert from its original channel and flow south. This shift led to the formation of a massive canyon known as the Grand Coulee. When the ice melted away, the river reverted to its original course.

·   The Great Gravel Bar

·   Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center

·   Sun Lakes-Dry Falls National Park

·   Steamboat Rock State Park (big loop)

* You can grab a map for the self-guided tour at the VisitWenatchee Visitor Center at 137 N Wenatchee Ave #101.

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