Columbia Plateau

Mountain Summits Snowpack Levels Streamflow
April 16 2024

Columbia Plateau


The Columbia Plateau is a vast geological region located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, covering parts of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. It is a region of rolling hills, fertile valleys, and ancient lava flows, with a history stretching back millions of years. Notable peaks in the area include Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainier, with the highest peak being Mount Rainier at 14,411 feet. The Columbia River runs through the plateau, providing important hydrological features and recreational opportunities. The Snake River is also a significant river in the region, and it flows through Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America. The Columbia Plateau was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions and has a unique geological history that includes the Missoula Floods, which carved out the landscape over 10,000 years ago. Today, the area is home to agriculture, wineries, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Peak Elevation
Eagle Cap 9595
Canyon Mountain 7999
Fields Peak 7362
Red Mountain 5890
Matterhorn 9826
Sacajawea Peak 9838
China Cap 8656
Strawberry Mountain 9038
Mount Fanny 7136
Ironside Mountain 7811
Table Rock 3890
Meadow Mountain 7825
Vinegar Hill 8131
Petes Point 9675

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Mountain Activities

1. Hiking: The Columbia Plateau offers numerous hiking trails with varying difficulty levels, from leisurely strolls to challenging treks. Examples include the Palouse Falls State Park trail, offering stunning views of Palouse Falls, and the Snake River Canyon Rim trail, which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

2. Camping: Camping is a popular outdoor activity in the Columbia Plateau, with many designated campgrounds and dispersed camping areas available. Examples include the Lyons Ferry State Park campground, located along the Snake River, and the Potholes State Park campground, which offers opportunities for fishing and boating.

3. Rock Climbing: The Columbia Plateau is known for its basalt cliffs and rock formations, making it a popular destination for rock climbing enthusiasts. Examples include the Vantage climbing area, which offers a variety of routes for climbers of all skill levels, and Frenchman Coulee, known for its challenging crack climbs.

4. Fishing: The Columbia Plateau is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and streams that offer excellent fishing opportunities. Examples include the Snake River, known for its trout and steelhead fishing, and Lake Roosevelt, which is popular for walleye and bass fishing.

5. Wildlife Viewing: The Columbia Plateau is teeming with diverse wildlife, making it a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Examples include the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to a variety of bird species, and the Hanford Reach National Monument, where visitors can spot bald eagles, elk, and other wildlife.

6. Mountain Biking: The Columbia Plateau offers a variety of mountain biking trails, ranging from easy rides to challenging singletrack routes. Examples include the Steptoe Butte State Park trail, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, and the Drumheller Channels National Natural Landmark, known for its unique geological formations and technical trails.

Overall, the Columbia Plateau mountain range offers a wide range of outdoor recreational activities for visitors to enjoy, from hiking and camping to rock climbing and wildlife viewing. With its diverse landscapes and abundant natural beauty, the Columbia Plateau is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.


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