A Brief Look At East Wenatchee, Washington
East Wenatchee is located directly across the Columbia River from Wenatchee, Washington and is the largest city in Douglas County. East Wenatchee was built on the agricultural economy that founded many of the communities in North Central Washington, but has since diversified into a number of industries.
Two historically important occurrences happened in the 20th century in East Wenatchee, both bringing with them major national and international attention. First, in 1931 Clyde Pangborn (a Bridgeport, Washington native) and his navigator Hugh Herndon landed their small Bellanca airplane, the Miss Veedol, on a hillside airstrip overlooking present day East Wenatchee. Pangborn and Herndon successfully made East Wenatchee the landing point of the first non-stop flight across the Pacific Ocean. The two pilots had taken off some 41+ hours earlier from a beach outside of Misawa, Japan. To symbolize the historic ties, the cities of East Wenatchee and Misawa, Japan have established a “sister city” relationship. The second major historical even occurred in 1987 when some farmworkers accidentally unearthed a vast amount of 11,000 year old Clovis points and other hunting artifacts. Archaeological digs were executed in 1988 and 1990 and there continues to be much research into what was uncovered.
The first bridge to span the Columbia River and unite the communities of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee was constructed in 1907 and the two communities remain tightly joined to this day. The Wenatchee/East Wenatchee area is by far the largest population center in North Central Washington with most major regional businesses having a presence there. The two communities, though separate cities, both jointly promote local celebrations and the agricultural industry as a whole.
East Wenatchee is a prime location for those interested in outdoor recreation. To the south and southeast are Quincy, Moses Lake, the Sand Dunes, the Gorge Amphitheater and the Potholes Reservoir. To the north are Lake Chelan, Chelan, and the Okanogan Valley. To the east is Banks Lake, Dry Falls, Sun Lakes State Park, Lake Roosevelt and Grand Coulee Dam,. To the west of East Wenatchee are the Cascade Mountains, Mission the Ridge Ski Area, the Colockum Wilderness, Lake Wenatchee, and the cities of Wenatchee, Cashmere, and Leavenworth.
Like Wenatchee, East Wenatchee is on the shores of the Columbia River and bookended by two of the hydroelectric dams that have proven to be such a huge part in the building of North Central Washington; Rock Island Dam to the south and Rocky Reach Dam to the north.
There are also quite a few state parks in the immediate vicinity of East Wenatchee, Daroga State Park is about a half hour north on highway 97, Lincoln Rock State Park is just a few minutes north of town, Confluence State Park is just across the bridge in Wenatchee, and Squillchuck State Park (no overnight camping) is across the bridge and south of Wenatchee.
The Wenatchee Valley Mall is also located in East Wenatchee providing year round shopping opportunities that most of the surrounding areas do not offer.
East Wenatchee combines the best of the local agriculture industry with convenient access to the area’s abundance of outdoor activities. It truly is an important place in our beautiful North Central Washington.