I have admired the beautiful locations and photography of many bloggers of the southwest desert. Yet my experience in the Washington State deserts has mostly been a rapid drive through the scab land and on to other destinations. I find myself truly fascinated with the desert I have so long ignored. Most everyone has heard of Grand Coulee Dam but there is far more to the area than the dam. So we are off to the middle part of the state to experience the Coulee Basin Area.
Since I am a Foster Parent in Washington State, we are able to camp free at all of the State Campgrounds
We chose Steamboat Rock State Park to be our home base. This is the view from across the bay from Steamboat Rock. Our new home is the campground that sprawls along the shore at the base of Steamboat Rock. There is a hiking trail that is 1 1/3 mile to the top of the rock formation. Steamboat Rock is surrounded by water except the narrow area to the left. There is hiking, biking, swimming and a boating area available.
We arrived mid week and found the campground had more than 25 vacant camping spots available. We drove the tour and quickly chose a drive through spot close to the water and restrooms. We camped in a brand new area so it didn't have much shade but since it was early in the year, that really wasn't a problem. Later in the year shade is a necessity due to the heat.
Here are some pictures of the surrounding area. I could look at these rock formations all day.... they change hourly as the sun and shadows highlight their beauty.
|The view from Steamboat Rock|
|A view from near our campsite|
Nearby Northrup canyon had campsites and trails for riding horses & hiking to a nearby historic homestead
|Horse Camp in Northrup Canyon|
|Trail to Northrup Canyon Homestead|
|Auntie on the catwalk telling the story of Dry Falls - remnants of the largest waterfall on Earth|
There is enough concrete in the Grand Coulee Dam to make a four lane highway four inches thick, from Los Angeles to New Your City. Wow, now that is big!! Including the left power station (shown to the left of the water and the right power station (not shown in this picture) the dam is 1 mile long from side to side.
There is a free laser show, shown each night on the dam. It is especially spectacular when the water is spilling over the dam with spring run off. We were fortunate to view the dam with all the spill ways open.