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Lakeview Ranch

Central Washington

Location

Central Washington -- Potholes Region
View map below

Length

5.3 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 450 ft.
Highest Point: 1780 ft.

Rating

3.75 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Lakeview Ranch is a wild and expansive former ranch set among the Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington. Now a part of the Bureau of Land Management, the recreation area offers a network of old farm roads that are perfect for exploring seasonal lakes, sagebrush flats, and coulees between basalt cliffs and mesas.

The trail starts at the western end of the parking area. Follow arrows toward the 4WD dirt track leading southwest on a flat and pleasant course near Walter Lake. Sagebrush and riparian grasses frame the path between lichen covered basalt boulders. Be alert for rattlesnakes near the path in warmer months.

The trail now heads due west and slightly uphill toward a low saddle between mesas of columnar basalt. Soon the saddle is reached, and a small, seasonal lake comes into view. Like Walter Lake, water levels here fluctuate with seasonal rains or drought. Dry lakes may appear as mere green patches after springs rains end.

The trail passes through tall grass before rising gently to a grand view over the small lake at 1.1 mile. Ducks and other fowl patrol the surface, while migrating birds and raptors soar high above. The train horn in Odessa can be heard far in the distance. Nearer to the hiker are the cheerful melodies of prairie songbirds and the buzzing of bees.

The trail now proceeds west through a flat gap marked by a large lump of basalt. Another small lake appears on the left before the trail descends into a grassy marsh. Turn right and follow the posts marking the old road that is now very overgrown. Soon the path leaves the trench and emerges onto a wide track and resumes course.

At 2.1 miles the way come to a junction with the Odessa-Lake Creek Trail. Turn right, going north now, and proceed on the wide and easy former road. One of the purposes of the road network was to allow access to maintain the many miles of barb wire fencing. Private lands still border the BLM site, and the fences remain.

At 2.7 miles, stay right to return to the trailhead for a 5.3 mile round trip hike. For a longer, 10.0 mile round trip hike, turn left to add a 4.3 mile loop, creating an overall figure 8 shape. The additional mileage is nearly the same in terms of scenery, but it s noticeably less trafficked. Remember to wear blaze orange or other bright clothing during hunting season.

Back on the main loop, the trail trends northeast, then east, passing over a cattle guard and an irrigation pipeline. At 3.8 miles and 1780 feet, the trail’s highest point, the Cascade Range can be seen far to the west. The trail finally reaches Lakeview Ranch Loop Road at 4.7 miles, where a signpost and map mark the loop’s northern end. Follow the road 0.6 miles back to the trailhead.

 

Lakeview Ranch

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4138, -118.7412 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Washington -- Potholes Region

Bureau of Land Management

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Desert Hikes Washington (Bauer and Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

USGS Pacific Lake

USGS Sullivan Lake

BLM map online

www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/site_info.php?siteid=275

Getting There

From Odessa, head north on Alder Street, which is also WA State Highway 21. Stay on Highway 21 for 2.8 miles, then turn left onto Lakeview Ranch Loop North. Stay on Lakeview Ranch Loop N until the trailhead, which is on the left, at 8.0 miles from Odessa. Proceed straight between the picnic area and the barn to the trailhead. No toilet available, but there is a restroom across the road at Pacific Lake Boat Launch, as well a few acceptable, if not exposed, camping sites.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Lakeview Ranch

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