Steamboat Rock

Grand Coulee, Washington 99133

Steamboat Rock

Steamboat Rock Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Steamboat Rock is a massive “island” of a rock mountain floating on the shore of Banks Lake. The durable rock was left behind through all of the Great Missoula Floods and was later nearly surrounded by the waters diverted by the Grand Coulee Dam.

The top of the rock is a broad, flat 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. Wildflowers abound along the lower foot of the butte: arrowleaf balsamroot and prairie star flowers are particularly prominent."

More Steamboat Rock Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"Stand upon this massive, 600-plus-acre basaltic butte within the Grand Coulee and try to visualize the ?oods of biblical proportions that carved out the Channeled Scablands of the Columbia Plateau before you. Marvel at the manmade lake below now flooding the surrounding canyon and cherish the extraordinary beauty of this harsh but ecologically vibrant landscape. In spring the rock is awash in a riot of colorful blossoms." Read more
Day Hiking Eastern Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Rich Landers
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"Starting in open sagebrush-steppe that comes alive in April, particularly with lupine and balsamroot blossoms, hike toward the basaltic behemoth. The trail heads for a gap between the two “summits” of the mesa-like rock. Pass a draw harboring a few pines and trudge across some sandy tread before marching beneath the base of the hulking rock." Read more

Steamboat Rock Reviews

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I felt that the guidebook underestimated the initial elevation gain of this hike. The trail on the way up is well marked, but is ridden with basalt rocks. Footing can be an issue. I recommend a good pair of boots. On our way down we saw a girl going up in flip flops...I would not recommend this. Once you make it to the top the views are great. You can lookout onto Banks and Thompson Lakes and since it was clear we could see the Cascades. The descent was tricky at parts. Really steep with nothing to grab on to. We saw one girl slip and fall. Take it slow and put a little room between yourself and others in your party (in case of slippage).
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Hiked this on Saturday May 17. Not to hot Mid 80's. Nice flowers and views from the top. It is a good change from forest hiking and that was the purpose of this trip since there was still a hugh amount of snow in the cascades this year. (They where still skiing Alpental at snoqualmie pass this year on Memorial day!) A nice hike, with good views of banks lake, spring flowers, and hawks soaring along the rim right at eye level. There are even some deer on the top that we saw. Not much shade, and no water. Could be much hotter later in the year. As nice as this hike is don't miss Northrup Canyon just a few miles away. South across the road.
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A pleasant change from forest/alpine hiking. Lots of wildlife and flowers.
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Steamboat Rock Photos

Trail Information

Grand Coulee
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 hours
March through November
1,600 feet
Trailhead Elevation
2,250 feet
Top Elevation
Washington State Parks and Recreation
Local Contacts
Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Banks Lake
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018