When I first moved to town you needed a background check to visit Hanford. Now that it's a national monument there are free tours accepting walk-ins -- but you have to know how it works.

The tour headquarters/visitors center is just off 240 in Richland (2000 Logston Blvd.) in the same strip as Shrub Steppe Smokehouse Brewery just after the Horn Rapids Athletic Complex but before the dump. The building is called the Horn Rapids Business Park.

The visitor center is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some days there are two scheduled tours, some days there is one. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays there is a pre-Hanford historic tour of the area as well visiting archeology sites of the early farming communities of Hanford and White Bluffs.

The tours are 4 hours long (30 minute presentation, 90 minute bus ride there and back, and 2 hour tour of the B Reactor).

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