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Hat Rock State Park
Hat Rock State Park © Peggy Jennings
Hat Rock State Park © Peggy Jennings
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Hat Rock State Park Road
Hermiston, Oregon   97838
(lat:45.9118 lon:-119.1704) map location

Phone: 800-551-6949
Toll Free: 800-551-6949
Reservations: 800-452-5687
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.
History of the Area
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.

Hat Rock State Park is located near Hermiston, Kennewick

1. Hat Rock Trail: This is the main trail that leads to the park's namesake, a massive rock formation shaped like a hat. The path is relatively flat and easy for all skill levels.

2. Riverfront Loop: A scenic 3-mile loop along the Columbia River with stunning views of waterfowl and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

3. Overlook Pathway: Short but steep hike leading up to an overlook point offering panoramic vistas of surrounding landscapes including mountains, river valleys, forests etc.

4. Wetland Walkway: An interpretive boardwalk through marshy areas where visitors can observe various species of plants and animals unique to wetlands ecosystems.

5. The Prairie Dog Run: Named after local fauna seen frequently here; this moderate level hiking route winds its way across open grasslands before reaching wooded sections near campgrounds.

6. Wildflower Way: Best visited during spring or early summer when wildflowers are blooming abundantly on either side making it one colorful spectacle not:to-be-missed!

7. Heritage Tree Trek: It's more than just walking under towering trees as information boards placed strategically provide interesting facts about different tree types found within park boundaries.

8. Birdwatchers' Bliss: As name suggests perfect spot for bird enthusiasts who could spend hours spotting numerous avian species from dedicated viewing platforms scattered throughout this pathway.

9. Rock Climbers' Ridge: For those seeking some adrenaline rush there's option available too! Though requires certain degree experience due safety reasons involved while scaling rocky terrains present alongside part track.

10. Nature Photography Route: Specifically designed keeping photographers mind providing them ample opportunities capture diverse flora & fauna against backdrop breathtaking sceneries.

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Area Campgrounds
Panelview RV Park
77632 Oregon 207
Hermiston, OR
Nearby Hotels

Hat Rock State Park is located in northeastern Oregon, near the city of Hermiston. To reach the park from Interstate 84, take exit 164 and head south on Highway 730 for approximately four miles. Look for signs indicating Hat Rock State Park and turn left onto East Punkin Center Road.

Continue driving east on East Punkin Center Road until you see another sign directing you to Hat Rock State Park. Turn right at this intersection onto South Edwards Road and follow it as it curves northward towards the park entrance.

Once inside the park, there are various amenities available such as picnic areas with tables and grills, restrooms, a boat ramp (for non-motorized boats), hiking trails along both sides of McNary Channel Riverbank Trail Loop that offer scenic views of Columbia River Gorge area including wildlife viewing opportunities like birdwatching or fishing spots if desired!

To leave Hat Rock State Park after your visit concludes simply retrace your steps back out via South Edwards road turning left when reaching its junction with East Punkin Center Rd then continue straight ahead till arriving again at I-84 whereupon one can choose either direction depending upon their intended destination!

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Oregon State Parks