Steamboat Rock State Park - Washington

US National Parks and Monuments Travel Guide: US-Parks.com

Park Overview

Steamboat Rock State Park is a 3,522-acre camping park with 50,000 feet of freshwater shoreline at the north end of Banks Lake. Dominating the landscape is a columnar, basaltic rock with a surface area of 600 acres. Two campground areas and a large day-use area are on sweeping green lawns, protected from winds by tall dramatic poplars. The surrounding areas are carpeted with wildflowers, adding to the gray-green brush of the Scablands. A sandy swimming area and boat launches make the area a favorite for visitors who enjoy water-play and want respite from the hot, summer sun.

History

Steamboat Rock is a long-established area landmark, first used by nomadic Native American tribes and then by early settlers. The military currently uses the area for aircraft flying training missions. The basalt butte rises 800 feet above Banks Lake. It was once an island in the Columbia River bed. When the Columbia returned to its natural course, after centuries of being dammed by ice, the massive rock remained.

There is also a well-engineered road, built in the late 1800s, that winds through and up the south side of Northrop canyon. Once used by stage coaches and freight wagons, it was named after one of the original homesteaders.

Park Features

In the midst of desert, the park offers both lush green lawns and rocks for climbing. Miles of horse trail are open for day use. A hiking trail leads to Northrup Lake, a natural forest area with water access open 24 hours a day.

Interpretive opportunities

There are currently no interpretive opportunities at this park.

Physical Features

The area has gray-green scrub and lush green lawns. It's an oasis in desert surroundings. Dramatic poplar trees and a huge lake mark the terrain.

Temperatures range between 80 to 100 degrees in the summer. The park averages 11 inches of annual rainfall and six inches of snowfall.

Address

51052 Highway 155, Electric City, WA 99123

Directions

Located on Banks Lake 11 miles south of Electric City, Wash., and 16 miles north of Coulee City, Wash. in Grant County.

From Electric City:

Take SR 155 south 11 miles, and turn right at the marked park entrance.

From Coulee City:

Take SR 155 north 16 miles, and turn left at the marked park entrance.

More Info
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