WaStatePks100: Steamboat Rock
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This cache was originally placed in 2013 as part of the Washington State Parks Centennial GeoTour - "100 caches in 100 parks to celebrate 100 years" - cosponsored by Washington State Geocaching Association (WSGA).
Steamboat Rock State Park is a 3,522-acre park with 50,000 feet of freshwater shoreline located on the north end of Banks Lake. 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. These amenities and ideal setting have made Steamboat Rock the top summer camping destination among all of the Washington State Parks.
Dominating the park is Steamboat Rock itself, a massive island of rock "floating" at the edge of Banks Lake. This mass of basalt was left behind as the Great Missoula Floods carved away the rock on either side and was later nearly surrounded by the waters diverted by the Grand Coulee Dam. The top of the rock is a broad, 600-acre plateau offering stunning views across the scablands of coulee country.
From the parking area, the trail tracks across the lower slope of the rocky butte, then turns uphill for a very rough and steep - but short - ascent as it runs up through a slot in the cliffs. About halfway up the butte, the trail splits. For this cache, you will want to steer left toward the western edge of Steamboat Rock's top. There are no formal trails out to the cache site, but you will find the going easy once up on top of the plateau.
Summer: 6:30 a.m. to dusk.
Winter: 6:30 a.m. to dusk.
The park is open year round for camping and day use. The campground is partially open during the winter. Click the winter schedule for more information.
The water to campsites is shut off in winter.
Winter weatherization occurs Oct. 15 through March 31 (weather permitting). Water is shut off at individual campsites. Please plan to use the winter water supply near the main restroom.
The watercraft launch docks are removed in Oct. They are reinstalled in March or when the lake is no longer freezing.
Reservation and registered campers may enter campground after dusk.
Check-in time, 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time, 1 p.m.
Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
- This geocache has an approved Permit to be placed at this location on property managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. Visitors are responsible for acquainting themselves with policies and rules pertaining to State Parks areas.
- The following items may not be placed in the geocache: food, illegal substances, medications, personal hygiene products, pornographic materials, hazardous materials, or weapons of any type.
- By searching for the cache, visitors agree that they are responsible for their own actions, and acknowledge that neither the State of Washington nor the cache owner is responsible for any loss or injury that may occur in relation to such search.
- Report any incident, problem, or violation to State Parks staff.