Introduction to Pasco, Washington

Pasco is situated in the southeastern portion of the state of Washington in Franklin County. The rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains has produced a desert climate, with hot summer months and cold winters. The Columbia River runs along the southern portion of Pasco and separates it from the other members of the Tri-Cities, Richland and Kennewick.

Due to extensive irrigation, agriculture is a major part of the economy. The region includes a thriving wine industry. Some of the primary employers are Burlington Northern, Bechtel National Inc., Boise Cascade and Tyson Foods. The region has a basalt and lava landscape which is sprinkled with a vast amount of sage brush.


In 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived in the region. Fur trappers as well as gold traders were prominent. The population significantly increased due to the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway. The city was incorporated in 1891. Virgil Bogue, an employee of the NP Railway named the city in tribute to Cerro de Pasco, a town located in the Peruvian Andes where he had been involved in constructing a railroad. In 1941 the Grand Coulee Dam project was completed, which led to a vast irrigation system and a thriving agriculture industry.

During the 1950's the construction of the Hanford Site, a nuclear power facility, brought rapid growth to the Tri-Cities area, but most of the population growth occurred in Richland and Kennewick. However, during the late 1990's, developers anticipated another growth spurt and acquired a large amount of farm land and turned it into residential and commercial areas. Since then, Pasco has become the highest populated municipality in the Tri-Cities.


The Sacagawea Heritage Trail is an educational path which is utilized for bicycle riding, hiking and bird watching. Several waterfront parks are located near the Columbia River. Boating, fishing, camping, hiking and water skiing are popular activities at the Columbia River. Badger Mountain is a notable location for hikers and offers great views of the Yakima and Columbia River valleys.

Due partially to the climate, especially the mild winters, golf is a popular activity. Visitors enjoy the region's wine tours. There are more than 100 wineries. Boat tours take visitors to the Hanford Reach which features the notable White Bluffs and a variety of wildlife. River cruises along the Columbia River are also available.


  • Pasco's Farmers Market attracts visitors from all over the region
  • Fiery Foods Festival showcases the flourishing Hispanic culture
  • The Tri-City Dust Devils play baseball in the Northwest League
  • The Trade Recreational Agricultural Center is utilized for conventions, concerts and various sports events.
  • Tri-City Americans play hockey
  • Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science & Technology Museum is a notable venue
  • The Sacagawea State Park marks the location where the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped at the convergence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers
  • The Washington State Railroad Society's museum offers a look at the early history of Pasco
  • Tri-Cities Water Follies features exciting hydroplane racing


The city is home to the Tri-Cities Airport.


Total Population 67,391
Male Share of the Population 51.1%
Female Share of the Population 48.9%
Senior Citizens 7%
Employed Population 16+ 28,816
Age of the Population 29


% of people married 48.3%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 16.2%
Median Earnings25+ $30,161
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,804
Median Earnings With High School Degree $27,418


Median Family Income $58,227
% Above Poverty Level 81.2%
% Below Poverty Level 18.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 21 minutes
% Working from Home 2.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.2%
% Using Public Transportation 0.8%


People Living Alone 18.9%
Median Gross Rent $820
Median House Value $163,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 62%
US/American 0.2%
English 5.6%
Irish 6.1%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Pasco Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 2 miles NE of Kennewick, Washington (center to center)
Nearest Large City 179 miles E of Portland, Oregon
County Franklin
Metro Area Richland - Kennewick - Pasco
Standard Zip Codes 99301
P.O. Box Zip Codes 99302
Phone Area Codes 509
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 46.239
Longitude -119.099

Pasco Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 1.6 miles
Jan Temp 28 to 40 F
Apr Temp 42 to 66 F
Jul Temp 61 to 89 F
Oct Temp 42 to 66 F
Annual Precip 8 inches
Distance 9.6 miles
Jan Temp 26 to 40 F
Apr Temp 40 to 65 F
Jul Temp 59 to 88 F
Oct Temp 40 to 65 F
Annual Precip 7.5 inches
Distance 11.3 miles
Jan Temp 25 to 39 F
Apr Temp 38 to 65 F
Jul Temp 55 to 86 F
Oct Temp 39 to 64 F
Annual Precip 8.8 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Pasco, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Tri Cities (99302)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Benton City 3,156 $61,705
Kennewick 76,918 $58,892
Mesa 352 $51,667
Richland 52,291 $86,632
West Richland 13,048 $91,132

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Pasco Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(509) 546-2278
Emergency Service: Yes

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Pasco High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

1108 N 10TH AVENUE
A Title I School.
Serves 2,532 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.5

A Non-traditional School
A Title I School.
Serves 182 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.5

Pasco Colleges

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