Priest Rapids Dam

Priest Rapids Dam is located on the Columbia River, 24 miles south of Vantage and 200 miles downstream from Grand Coulee Dam.

The dam was named in recognition of the Wanapum religious leader Smowhalla and the small band of indigenous people who lived during the winter at a village near the last of seven rapids, called Priest Rapids.  A small group of the Wanapum continues to live alongside the tailrace of the dam.

Construction Start July 1956
Power Generation Began October 1959
General Construction Contract Cost $91,880,625
Length 10,103 feet
Maximum Height from Deepest Excavation Point 178 feet
Spillway Length 1,142 feet
Amount of Spillway Gates 22 (each gate is 40 feet X 50 feet)
Amount of Turbines and Generators 10 (of each)
Horsepower of Each Turbine 114,000