A great hike with a viewpoint payoff

One view from Crown Point, looking toward the dam.
One view from Crown Point, looking toward the dam.

The Candy Point Trail is a pleasant, short-but-challenging hike that starts right in town at Coulee Dam and ascends about 700 feet up flights of stone steps and trail, eventually leading to either Candy Point towards the left, or Crown Point, our community’s popular spaceship-looking viewpoint, to the right.

Both offer a great overview of the dam, with Crown Point affording an additional panorama down river. We’ll focus here on the Crown Point path; the branch to the left from the top winds back down behind the town hall, but is less developed and in need of work.

Oddly enough, the trail starts in a private backyard, but don’t worry, there are signs on the sidewalk saying it’s perfectly fine to walk through the yard to the trailhead, which you can easily see from the road. As the sign says, it’s quite the workout, but the views are well worth it.

A sign near the north end of Colombia Avenue in Coulee Dam welcomes hikers.
A sign near the north end of Colombia Avenue in Coulee Dam welcomes hikers.

From the get-go, it is common to hear birds singing their songs, and see nice green areas that look like a perfect place to have a picnic. It is not uncommon to see deer grazing along the hillsides. As is the case in most of eastern Washington, be prepared to give rattlesnakes a respectable distance if you see one, which you probably won’t.

The stone steps comprising much of the trail are very impressive landscaping work that must have taken a lot of hard work to install by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal project that put people to work in during the Great Depression. Now that you know this, you won’t be tempted to think you’ve stumbled on to the remnants of some ancient civilization. 

Stone work on the trail was originally accomplished by the CCCs during the Great Depression.
Stone work on the trail was originally accomplished by the CCCs during the Great Depression.

It takes 30 minutes or more to get to the top, quite the workout for the legs. Once at the top you’ll find magnificent views of the dam, the bridge, the river, the town, and beyond.

After resting a while, and taking in the views, heading back down takes about 20 minutes. In the end, you get to have a great workout, see wildflowers and birds, take some great photos of the dam … a great way to spend an hour or two.

Here’s a map to help you start out.

 

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