Elma, Washington: Satsop Abandoned Nuclear PlantMassive cooling towers of a never completed power plant.
- Lambert Road, Elma, WA
- From North: I-5 exit 104 at Olympia, follow signs to Ocean Beaches. After 27 miles, take Satsop Development Park (SDP) exit. From South: I-5 exit 88B to US Hwy 12 west. Drive 26 miles, at Elma go 1/2 mile and take SDP exit. After SDP exit: Make left to cross over freeway. Another 1.6 miles south, watch for SDP sign. Take bridge over river, turn right to Lambert Road and go 3.2 miles to park entrance at Olympic View Drive.
- Visible from entrance.
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Visitor Tips and News About Satsop Abandoned Nuclear Plant
I revisited these towers because of the uniqueness of the photos that can be taken at them.
As I mentioned on your site a couple years ago, one of the towers is fenced in with a business. The business is a training facility, which at times is training workers to build a new Seattle road tunnel -- there is a huge tunnel drill outside the fence. During the week, it's simple for someone to just walk though the open gate and walk around the tower. The other tower is still fenced in completely.[Nate Williams, 01/25/2012]
One tower is accessible. One of them often has the fence open during the day for workers. The other is surrounded by a fence.[Nathan Williams, 11/29/2007]
The Satsop Nuclear Power Plant was 75% complete in 1983 before the money ran out and work was abandoned. To avoid steep dismantling costs, the site was eventually handed over to a public corporation and became the Satsop Development Park, home to various light industry businesses who work in the shadows of the two cooling towers. You can enter the property freely but you can't go under the towers (they're fenced off, although supposedly they are planning to open them to the public someday). Still, you can peek inside them since their bases are not solid (the hollow structures are held aloft by a zigzag of beams.) The tower at the site entrance was completely empty inside save for a lone port-a-potty.[KevF, 09/11/2007]