Steamboat Rock in Grand Coulee / 大深谷裏的輪船岩

Yesterday we went up to Mount Pickett on Orcas Island. But the weather was cloudy, and we had no views in the forest. So today, we came out east to Steamboat Rock in search of the afternoon sunshine. The recruit managed to hike the first mile up to the top of the plateau.

Steamboat Rock entrance
Steamboat Rock entrance

See more trip photos here.

Steamboat Rock at a Glance

Access: Steamboat Rock State Park
Round Trip: 4.8 miles
Elevation Range: 1580′-2312′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Steamboat Rock State Park

The state park is another area within the Grand Coulee group. The Ice Age floods had carved out the landscape over 13,000 years ago. Steamboat Rock sits near the north end of Banks Lake. The rock got the name because of its resemblance to a steamboat.

Like other coulees in the desert, basalt rocks also make up the humongous structure. Because of its size, the plateau spans an area of over 600 acres. But I would love to build a house on top and have all this space in my backyard!

Looking down
Looking down

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Hiking on Steamboat Rock

The walk from the parking area to the bottom of Steamboat Rock was short. Then we climbed another 500′ on steep and rocky terrain to get up to first and second tiers. The ground then eased up from here to the top. The view behind us was enough to keep one going for more.

To make the long drive worthwhile, we maximize the mileage by tracing along the rim. The first couple of times we were here, we walked clockwise. But hiking in any directions would work. But we always made sure not to get too close to the edge. It’s a sheer drop down to the water!

The drop-off
The drop-off

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Summer in the Park

We came here once in August. But it was incredibly hot and noisy, not to mention the number of people crowding the park. Though, back then, we avoided the crowds by hiking in the inner parts of the plateau. Seriously. With over 600 acres of land, we had no trouble finding our piece of heaven.

Our next trips all took place in the winter. But it’s the best time of the year to avoid people and rattlesnakes. So, dog owners who are thinking about visiting Steamboat Rock for the first time. A non-retractable leash is a must. Another concern would be water because there is none on top.

Low season
Low season

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Steamboat Rock High Point

The highest point is on the eastern edge of the rock. So it’s 800′ above the lake. On a clear day, views to the north would be incredible. And we could even see into the Northrup Canyon on the other side of the water. But not today! Though, we had the view of Banks Lake throughout.

There is a defined path along the rim. So we hiked counterclockwise through lots of tumbleweeds. The trail was slightly muddy from the recent rain. Along the way, there were many places to take photos of the dramatic landscape. But it was too cloudy today to be exciting.

Thanks for a rain-free afternoon
Thanks for a rain-free afternoon

See more trip photos here.

Outro

Since we started at noon, we didn’t have time to walk around the entire rock. So we got on the trail at the southwest depression. Then we hiked the last mile out from below Point 2285.

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