Steamboat Rock Washington

While making over almost a two hour trip from the Tri-Cities I was able to visit this wonderful butte standing out about 800 feet from the surrounding Banks Lake Washington.

Treking amoung the Juniper bushes
Even Audi made the climb up!


Heading north from Tri-Cities you’ll have a few smaller towns to pass through before hitting Moses Lake, WA in case you are needing to fuel up or pick up any last minute items.  From there the next place is the little town of Soap Lake, WA and then about an hours worth of driving along side of Banks Lake.  After crossing onto the hiking area you’ll have to enter through the park ranger’s gate, if you didn’t already have a Discovery Pass before coming along you can pay for a day pass there.  There is plenty of parking for both regular cars and for those bringing along boats or other hitched vehicles.

This is a test

There are several trails that feed into the main trail that approaches the base of Steamboat Rock. From the day use area or the campground, look for a sandy path just across the paved road that you drove on to get here. Jump on that sandy path and immediately begin walking towards the mighty rock through sagebrush and arrow leaf balsam root. The sandy path can be a little tiring to walk in, but you’ll only be on it for a short while. 

Washington Trail Association  

What really sets this apart from recent trips would be that there were no crowds to deal with on this early chilly morning.  I have no doubt this wouldn’t be the case once the summer months come around.  The parking location itself offer camp sites, RV hookups, and even small cabins to reserve.  Hopefully I’ll get one more trip in before the end of May, one more chance to beat the crowds before Labor Day!

If you were wanting more information on this hike you can check out WTA’s article covering it here:

There’s also Washington’s own park site that gives more details into what is available both onsite and the nearby areas:

Like video commentaries?  I got you fam.

Packing list

  • Camera gear included:
    • Canon 5D
    • 17-40mm, 24-70mm, and 85mm lenses
  • Yi action cam
  • Discovery Pass
  • Hiking boots (duh)
  • Jet Boil’s cooking system (for coffee making no matter the location!)
  • Dog food, treats, and portable bowls for Audi

I would definitely consider stopping by here again, if for anything than to get the chance to see these rugged views without the large amount of people milling about.  Looking over the videos and photos I spotted a few other areas worth visiting again during the golden hours, maybe even a couple spots I would consider for some night time star photos.

Audi walking the trails
The view from below the butte