About This Place
Vantage is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kittitas County, Washington, United States. The population was 70 at the 2000 census.
The area around Vantage has been occupied by the Wanapum Native Americans since prehistory. A number of well-preserved rock-paintings have been found on the cliff walls. They also used the abundant petrified wood in the area for arrowheads and other tools. The site where these petroglyphs were found was inundated by the rising waters behind Wanapum Dam in the 1960s. About 60 of the more than 300 carvings were cut from the basalt cliff face and saved. The site is one of the most unusual fossil forests in the world, and was designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1965.
In the early part of the 20th century, residents in nearby Ellensburg needed a more direct route when traveling east. So in 1914 a car ferry was established to carry traffic across the Columbia River at Vantage. This ferry was really just a small barge with wooden ramps at either end, and could carry only two cars at a time across the river. After several cars (some with occupants still in them) were lost overboard from the tiny ferry, the State Highway Department decided to construct a bridge over the Columbia.