HAT ROCK STATE PARK
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. The park 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. Waterskiing, jetskiing, 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.
Located in Umatilla County, Oregon, this natural wonder was named by the Lewis and Clark Expedition after its distinctive hat-like shape. The expedition encountered it on October 19th, 1805 during their historic journey to explore the Louisiana Purchase territory.
The area surrounding this unique rock formation has been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous tribes such as Cayuse and Walla Walla before European settlers arrived. It served as a significant landmark along the Columbia River for these native communities.
In later years with westward expansion across North America in full swing, pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail also used it as an important navigational marker due to its visibility from miles away.
It became part of public lands when President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation creating National Parks Service (NPS) in August 1916. However,it wasn't until May 29th ,1928 that Governor I.L Patterson officially designated it under state protection making one among first parks established within newly formed NPS system.