2015/3/29 – Steamboat Rock II / 輪船岩之二
Our second time visiting this beautiful area, first time being two Augusts ago on a hot and windy summer day. Funny how things worked out. But with the exception of the first weekend in March, rest of the month had been dedicated to hiking in Eastern Washington due to iffy weather in the Cascades. To make the scenic, 3.5-hour drive worthwhile, this time the pups and I traced the rim of the rock and managed to squeeze just over six miles out of the trip.
Weather was overcast when we arrived in the area and slowly cleared up later in the day. A few campers in the campground plus some day visitors. but we could hardly notice that there were people around because it’s so quiet. Another group of hikers started at the bottom just as we made our halfway up the rock. The trail traced alongside the rim, so we hiked counterclockwise to first check out the views we missed the last time.
It never ceased to amaze me that the area was carved out by glaciers millions of years ago. The protruding granite bedrock gave an striking appearance of many small islands strewn across Banks Lake. Therefore views were definitely more interesting to the north, as well as to the east where Northup Canyon was. Electric City could be spotted in the distant northeast just before the Grand Coulee Dam. Many vantage points alongside the rim to check out the steep cliffs that formed the rock itself, with a sheer drop nearly all around it. To the southwest, a gradual-sloped opening leading down to the water for more viewing pleasure.
After completing the loop hike and savoring the views, we slowly moseyed our way back down to the car followed by an overcast evening sky.