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Steamboat Rock hike

GPS Data: Map, Track, Waypoints

Click here for GPS eXchange format file.


  • Trailhead
  • Parking
  • Access trails
  • Trail ends

GPS Stats and other info:

  • Access to plateau: 0.6 miles
  • North loop: 3 miles
  • West arm: 0.4 miles
  • South arm: 0.4 miles
  • South loop: 1.8 miles
  • Elevation gain
    to plateau: 600 feet

Trip Report 4/19/06

Looking to escape the Seattle spring rains, Joan and I head to dry central Washington Grand Coulee/Dry Falls area. It is literally a geological wonder of the world where an ice age flood swept through with more water than all the world's rivers combined carving canyons a thousand feet deep. It is nothing less than spectacular.

Although it apparently rained here last weekend, we are blessed with beautiful 75 degree weather and since its the off season there is absolutely nobody here! We saw no one else on this hike.

Steamboat rock itself is a 600 foot high basalt plateau in the middle of Banks Lake. Someone apparently thought it looked like a steamboat... The plateau offers a variety of hikes, precipitous cliffs, and lots of cool views. I recommend the northern loop - once you reach the top it's pretty level and the whole area is so sparsely vegetated you can walk pretty much anywhere. Check it out!

Our destination... looks like a "steamboat" to me!

Precipitous cliffs...

More precipitous cliffs

Cool views

We got buzzed by A6 Navy jets.


Geologists will tell you that the only way these huge boulders of Canadian granite could end up on top of this 600 foot high basalt island was to be rafted here on icebergs from hundreds of miles away during a flood of biblical proportions.  But... they still don't know how the little rocks ended up on top of the big one???




The wild flowers were out in force.

  Remember grasshopper, "the path IS the goal".

Related Info and Links

Check out the hiking in Northrup Canyon. It's just a little northeast of Steamboat Rock state park.

Also, the laser show at Grand Coulee dam gets good PR but I haven't seen it.

Other hiking in the area. Read about the "maze" near Lake Lenore at entry for the Lake Lenore Caves

Drop me a line at with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 01/17/11