Coulee Corridor #2: Steamboat Rock  LbNA # 30099

Placed DateApr 7 2007
LocationElectric City, WA
Found By Delilah
Last Found Aug 10 2009
Hike Distance?

Rising 800 feet above the surface of Banks Lake, Steamboat Rock is an impressive sight. During the last Ice Age, cataclysmic floods carved out the landscape of Eastern Washington. At the present day site of Grand Coulee Dam, a great ice dam diverted the Columbia River south. Steamboat Rock was harder than the surrounding basalt and resisted the eroding powers of the waters, turning the area into an island in the middle of the river channel. When the Ice Dam melted, the Columbia returned to its present course, leaving the Grand Coulee and Steamboat Rock high and dry. The easily recognizable mesa served as a directional point for traveling Native Americans. In 1951, humans once again surrounded Steamboat Rock with water. Today Banks Lake serves as the starting resevoir for the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project.

Steamboat Rock State Park is located on Banks Lake between Electric City and Coulee City. The hike is fairly easy and takes about 15-20 minutes each way. The trail is pet friendly and there are bathrooms at the bottom. To find this letterbox, you will not be going to the top of Steamboat Rock. There are a few things you need to watch for, especially in the summer. Rattlesnakes are in the area all summer. The weather is hot, so hiking in the summer should be done in the early morning. Make sure to bring water!

Turn into Steamboat Rock State Park from Highway 155. Follow the road to the end and park in the Day Use Area.

Park at the south end of the Day Use Area parking lot. Cross the street to the sandy trail and start your hike. When you come to a T take a right and continue uphill. At the information kisosk before you begin the rocky climb, turn left and continue on the sandy path. Near where the dirt turns to gravel you will see a concrete structure. From the east corner of the concrete take 40 steps at 80 degrees. Where you stop you'll find the letterbox.