Here’s Why Umatilla’s Hat Rock Park Makes for a Great Day Road Trip
On a budget? Hat Rock State Park is worth exploring near Umatilla Oregon.
I hadn't noticed the unusual land formation protruding from the skyline until I was upon it one day on a road trip with my wife. Suddenly, what appeared to be a giant hat was soon in our sights.
Discover An Unusual Land Formation Right Outside Umatilla Oregon
We had taken a quick day trip to find some new hiking trials and lo and behold we came across a really neat State Park right in our own backyard of Tri-Cities Washington. It was the giant hat rock formation that piqued our interest in stopping and exploring the park.
Hat Rock State Park is just nine miles east of Umatilla on Highway 730. We could the hat-shaped hill from far away and I wanted to get a closer look at it. I soon discovered that it was a State Park that I was unaware of and we went inside and explored the park.
Lewis And Clark Passed By Hat Rock On Their Famous Expedition
I discovered that Hat Rock State Park would be a perfect day getaway for anyone on a budget.
Oregon Parks have the site listed as such:
Hat Rock State Park, located off U.S. Highway 730 nine miles east of Umatilla, lies on the south shore of Lake Wallula behind McNary Dam on the Columbia River. Hat Rock was the first distinctive landmark passed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on their journey down the Columbia and is one of the few remaining sites not underwater.
The park is a desert oasis surrounded by rolling sagebrush hills and outcroppings of basalt. This special place offers visitors a chance to escape the summer heat under the shelter of cottonwood and black locust ringed by acres of green grass. A boat ramp provides access to the lake, which is noted for walleye, sturgeon, and other fish. Water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, and boating are popular here. The park has its own pond stocked with rainbow trout and provides year-round habitat for waterfowl.
Bring the kids, enjoy a day on the water, fish in the pond, or play volleyball in the sand court. Hat Rock offers the opportunity to get out and enjoy nature with spacious, well-maintained grounds that offer lots of room for your family or large group to get together for outdoor recreation and fun.
After my wife and I toured the park, I made a note of it as a great place to return to someday. I'm still fascinated that the park and land were once underwater so it makes for an interesting history lesson. Lewis and Clark passed by it on their famous expedition.
Inexpensive Day Trips From Tri-Cities Should Include Hat Rock State Park
You can check out more details and the amenities that Hat Rock State Park offers here and I've included some great video tours of the park where I was able to grab some screenshots so you can see the beauty of the park - I can tell you this, the photos don't do the park justice - you must see it to believe it.
Take another video tour of Hat Rock State Park.