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.
- 5.3 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 450 feet
- Highest Point
- 1,780 feet
Hiking Lakeview Ranch
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.4138, -118.7412 Open in Google Maps