The Port of Pasco enjoys a mild climate, beautiful scenery, and abundant fishing on the Columbia, Snake, and Yakima Rivers. Pasco is city of sport-loving people who enjoy golf, minor league baseball, and professional indoor rodeos. The Port of Pasco has 24 kilometers (15 miles) of hiking/biking pathways overlooking the Columbia River and a five-kilometer (3.1-mile) cross-country course for runners, joggers, and walkers. The Port of Pasco offers 24 public tennis courts, 20 soccer fields, and a 50-meter (164-foot) swimming pool. It also has a multi-purpose outdoor stadium with a modern turf field and a 10-lane all-weather running track. There are also many wonderful opportunities for outdoor recreation in the surrounding area.
The Port of Pasco lies in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, creating a windy desert with little rain during the year. Unlike other areas in southeastern Washington, the Port of Pasco has hot summers, warm springs, and cold winters. Temperatures in the Port of Pasco range from an average high of 24°C (75°F) in July and August to an average low of 0°C (32°F) in December and January. Precipitation in the Port of Pasco is low, peaking from late November through mid-January at 2.7 centimeters (just over one inch). Snowfall arrives in the Port of Pasco from mid-October through mid-April, peaking in January at 18 centimeters (seven inches). Humidity levels range from a low of about 58% in July and August to a high of just over 80% from November through mid-February.
Immediately south of the Port of Pasco on the Columbia River, the McNary National Wildlife Refuge stretches from the Snake River to the Walla Walla River on the east bank of the Columbia River. The Refuge is six-thousand-hectares of riparian wetland habitat that contains islands, streams, ponds, and sloughs. Its upland shrub-steppe and cliff-talus habitats are used by thousands of migratory waterfowl, songbirds, and shore and wading birds. Ponds and backwaters provide nesting and feeding space for many species of wildlife throughout the year. Visitors will see Canada geese, mallards, green-winged teal, ring-necked ducks, shovelers, canvasbacks, and lesser scaup ducks as well as bald eagles and peregrine falcons. The Refuge also provides habitat and passage for sockeye and steelhead salmon. Its upland units provide forage for deer, ducks, pheasants, quail, and burrowing owls. About 283 hectares of the refuge are irrigated cropland that provides food and cover for wildlife.
The Franklin County Historical Museum in the Port of Pasco tells the story of Franklin County's development. Open Tuesday through Friday from noon until 4pm (and by appointment), the Museum offers exhibits that include Native American artifacts, Lewis & Clark's Corps of Discovery, the Railroads and other modes of transportation, how irrigation and agriculture helped build the area, Pasco's role in the development of Airmail, and the World War II Naval Air Station that was a training facility for Navy pilots.
Located immediately south of the Port of Pasco at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, Sacajawea State Park is a 115-hectare inland water day-use park with almost 2.7 kilometers (over 1.7 miles) of freshwater shoreline. The park is open from April to October from 6:30am until dusk. At the site of one of the expedition's campsites, the park includes a river beach and a children's playground.
Although it is a day-use park, it has one Northwest Discovery Water Trail campsite that can accommodate eight people. Designed for paddlers on the river, the campsite is available on a first-come first-served basis. While overnight moorage is allowed throughout the year, there no restrooms are available at the campsite from October through March. The park has a 61-meter (200-foot) dock and two boat ramps in a small protected lagoon.
Open every day from 10am until 5pm, the Sacajawea Interpretive Center tells the story of the Lewis & Clark expedition through the eyes of the young Shoshone woman that traveled with them. Exhibits tell what is known about Sacajawea's life.
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