The Hanford Site near Richland, Washington, is one of the three primary Manhattan Project locations created during World War II for the top-secret mission to beat the Germans in the race to develop a nuclear weapon. At the start of Manhattan Project work, about 1,500 residents in the agricultural towns of Hanford and White Bluffs were displaced from their homesteads and orchards, along with Native American Tribes, as the government transformed the Eastern Washington desert as part of the secret war project.
This tour explores the history of the mid-Columbia prior to the eviction of homeowners and tribes in 1943 and furthers visitors' understanding of both the time period and the pioneering settlers who developed successful agricultural operations along the Hanford Reach. The remaining buildings allow visitors to learn about the many ways in which the towns of Hanford, WA and White Bluffs, WA, were a direct reflection of the laws and policies being developed to support the settlement of the American West - including the Homestead Act, water reclamation projects, Soldier Settlements for WWI veterans, expansion of the railroad, and power projects. The tour includes bus stops, interpretation and a short walking tour at the following Manhattan Project National Historical Park resources:
Pre-War Historic Sites tours are free of charge and open to visitors of all ages. U.S. citizenship is not required. Cameras are welcome.
With the creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in November 2015, and in partnership with the National Park Service, the Department of Energy has expanded public access to the pre-Manhattan Project historic sites at Hanford in 2016. There will be 75 tours offered to the public between April and November of 2016. All tours leave from the Park's Interim Visitor Contact Station, located at 2000 Logston Blvd, Richland, WA. The tour lasts about 4 hours. There are restrooms at the Interim Visitor Contact Station, and a portable restroom at one of the tour stops.
PLEASE NOTE: Guests under the age of 18 must tour with a parent/guardian or an adult designated by the parent/guardian. Each guest under the age of 18 must also bring a signed release form, which identifies potential hazards associated with the tour and outlines the responsibilities of the parent, guardian, or accompanying adult. There is no exception to this rule. The release form may be found here. Please call us at the tour office if you have any questions or concerns.
Pre-War Historic Sites Tours are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on each tour date in 2016:
Click on the registration button on the right to begin the registration process
Please call (509) 376-1647 to inquire about tours for schools or private groups.
Cameras, cell phones, and other recording devices are allowed on this tour. Non-alcoholic beverages and/or snacks are allowed on the bus. Bottled water is recommended, particularly during the summer months.
Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
Click link below for directions to the Tour Departure Location: