Goldendale is a census-designated place in Klickitat County, Washington, United States. The population was 3,760 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Klickitat County GR6GR6. Just to the north of this town is Goldendale Observatory State Park.
Goldendale is located within the arid area in eastern Washington known as a rain shadow, caused by the Cascade Mountains 40 miles to the west. Yearly rainfall averages 8 to 12 inches. This produces a landscape of open bunchgrass prairies dotted with sagebrush and rabbitbrush containing the occasional juniper tree, while the more sheltered areas consist of ponderosa pine and oak savannahs. Overcast days are rare, occurring mostly in late fall and throughout winter. Summer temperatures can range well over 100 degrees, while winter, when most of the precipitation occurs, can see temperatures below zero, particularly in January. Summer thunderstorms occur intermittently, particularly in July and August, but due to high cloud bases, rain seldom reaches the ground in any appreciable amount. Lightning-caused range and forest fires are a common occurrence during this time of year, however. Spring flowers and green meadows and prairies make Goldendale a particularly beautiful site. Spring and summer can be very blustery since the Chinook winds off the Pacific Ocean which are funneled through the Columbia Gorge are common. Fall tends to be almost windless, and the autumnal oak leaves add a lovely touch of golden rust red to Observatory Hill on the north side of town.
An early homesteader in the valley gave Goldendale its name in 1872. This was John Golden who helped the town get started. In 1878 Goldendale became the county seat. Other early towns in the county were White Salmon, Lyle, Bingen, Glenwood, Dallesport and Bickleton, all still in existence. Goldendale was officially incorporated on November 14, 1879.
Goldendale has remained the commercial and banking center for the valley and is the County Seat. An aluminum reduction plant was built next to the John Day Dam in 1968 bringing an era of growth and prosperity to Goldendale. This plant added to the diversity of the Goldendale economy, employing about 800 people.
In 2003, the aluminum smelter temporarily closed operations mainly due to high electricity costs and low world prices for aluminum.
The Little Klickitat River flows roughly east-to-west across the northern portion of the city. Bloodgood Creek, an entirely spring-fed year-round water source, runs through the northwest part of town and intersects with the Little Klickitat just west of the city. Both are sources of rainbow trout as well as being home to waterfowl such as the great blue heron and several species of duck. Bloodgood Creek provides a portion of Goldendale drinking water and is capped at the source for that purpose.
US Highway 97 runs along the eastern boundary of the city and connects Goldendale with Interstate 84, 21 km (13 miles) south in the state of Oregon and State Route 14, which is 19 km (12 miles) south and runs along the Washington side of the Columbia River. State Route 142 creates a major east-west route through Goldendale, beginning at US 97 on the north end of town.
If you want one place in the Pacific Northwest that offers a diverse flavor of historical and cultural attractions, where you can pursue endless outdoor activities, then Klickitat County is the place for you. Located in south central Washington state, Klickitat County lies at the junction where the Columbia River Gorge cuts through the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains. So when the time comes to live here or move from here there is no better choice then Coldwell Banker Goldendale in Goldendale to assist you with all your real estate needs. We service all of the Klickitat County Real Estate market and help you sell your Goldendale Real Estate quickly and easily. If you are wanting to find your dream home in the Goldendale Washington Real Estate area, you can always count on the trusting agents of Coldwell Banker Goldendale to help you in that search.