Hike of the Month

Lakeview Ranch

(Odessa, WASH)

Fluctuating levels in the local water table may create conditions where very little lake is visible at Lakeview Ranch, but this stark shrub-steppe ecosystem is always worth a visit and can be especially lovely in the spring. The trailhead and starting location for this hike is at the old farm site just west of Pacific Lake, which is worth the extra side trip to the former boat launch in the event the water is high; some years the water level remains so low that the docks are high and dry, however. Maps will indicate Walter Lake next to the trailhead, although it is frequently a shallow pool. It makes fishing poor in the area, but birds still flock to the wetlands and spring wildflowers make an early appearance.

From the trailhead, hike difficulty and distance can be choose-your-own-adventure. Old farm roads create an easy version out-and-back hike, where the recommended route is to continue west past Walter Lake until intersecting a doubletrack trail that continues either north or south. For the easiest hike with the least elevation gain, head north and turn around when ready. For a slightly longer hike, turn south toward Bobs Lake where the trail descends into a coulee. For extra challenge, the area around Bobs Lake is a great place to explore off-trail for those experienced with route-finding. Look up Delzer Falls on the map and go check if it’s flowing or explore the rocky outcroppings above the lake. This hike can also be extended into a backpack trip, as the trail south of Bobs Lake continues to the outskirts of Odessa at Crab Creek.   

Maps: from BLM: Blm.gov/visit/pacific-lake-recreation-site-lakeview-ranch

Getting There: From Odessa, go north on SR21 for 6.1 miles. Turn left onto Lakeview Ranch Loop North and continue 1.9 miles to the parking area for Lakeview Ranch, located on the west side of the road.

Holly Weiler is the Eastern Washington Region Senior Coordinator for Washington Trails Association and enjoys exploring nearby trails in all seasons.

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