Wonderful Washington: Climb columns of volcanic basalt at The Drumheller Channels (PHOTOS)

Feb 3 2020, 1:21 pm

If you’re planning a statewide road trip anytime soon, don’t forget to stop by the incredible Drumheller Channels — photos just don’t do the butte-and-basin channels justice.

The channels are best described by the Washington National Wildlife Refuge as an “erosional landscape characterized by hundreds of isolated, steep-sided hills surrounded by a braided network of (usually) dry stream channels.”

The channels are a wonderful example of one of the beautiful remnants of the prehistoric Missoula Floods, showing off large excavated potholes, basalt rock erosion, and columns of volcanic Columbia River basalt.

For your own safety, please make sure you are prepared before heading out on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from waparks.org and parks.wa.govAlways remember to leave no trace, pack out what you pack in, stick to designated trails, and refrain from feeding wildlife — and please note that irresponsibly taken selfies (even if they look great for the ‘gram) can be fatal

Drumheller Channels

Bruce Bjornstad / Youtube

Where is it? 

The Drumheller Channels are located in the Drumheller Channels National Landmark Park in Eastern Washington.

 

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How do you get there? 

The park is two hours and 45 minutes away from Downtown Seattle by car. Follow the I-90 East to exit 137, WA-26 in Grant County. Then, follow WA-26 E and Road 12 SW to W McManamon Rd in Adams County.

The road will lead you directly to the Drumheller Channels National Natural Landmark.

What’s there? 

When you first get to the channels, you may think that they’re a bit flat. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see that there are actually carved out into the distance, as far as the eye can see.

If you continue driving towards Crab Creek, you’ll find an assortment of basalt columns that were created by the cooling of lava around 15 million years ago.

Throughout the day, get ready to see an extensively eroded landscape, that was once fully flooded with water. You’ll also come across multiple see steep-sided buttes, and of course, the braided network of numerous channels.

 

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