Protected by Presidential Proclamation in 2000 under the American Antiquities Act, the Monument is a place of sweeping vistas and stark beauty, of towering bluffs and delicate flowers. Wildlife abounds in this harsh landscape—rare is a trip along the river that doesn't produce mule deer, coyotes, bald eagles, great blue herons, or white pelicans. A large elk herd hides in the canyons, and incredibly, porcupines are a common sight. Rare plants defy the desert, wind and heat. Beautiful spring wildflower displays delight the visitor who ventures into the field.
The Monument is also a reminder of our history as a nation. Plutonium reactors stand along the river, remnants of WWII and the Cold War. Plutonium from B Reactor fueled "Fat Man," the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. No longer in production, these reactors are now being dismantled, and the lands and waters cleaned.
So, whether you're interested in history, sightseeing, wildlife, hunting, fishing, or just enjoying a bit of time away from the bustle of everyday life, the Hanford Reach National Monument has something to offer you. But don't come expecting a lot of visitor facilities—they don't exist. You'll be experiencing the Monument on its own terms.