Mileage: 1.5+ miles RT
Elevation Gain/Highest: 200/1300ft
Favorite Eats After Hike: Pack A Cooler
8/2014 I had always wanted to check this hike out and figured it would be perfect on a short weekend trek to Eastern Washington. I also hit the Wildhorse Monument and Gingko Petrified Forest!
The hike is simple enough, you leave the parking lot up a short gravel path to some nice concrete stairs and on the trail on the wall of the coulee that overlooks Lenore Lake. You can go left or right but the trails to the right run longer and are more developed.
Don’t expect shade except within the seven caves along the way and take time to admire the colorful lichen that grows on the basalt rocks.
I don’t think I found the cave that is featured in so many pictures because none of the ones I saw were deep enough to go back more than a few feet.
But it was fun to scramble up on some of the rock and imagine what life would have been like back in the wild west. You will see signs that warn of snakes, so gaiters are a smart idea.
On the way back from the caves, I stopped along the SR 17 to scramble up an outcropping along the lake to take in the views of the Grand Coulee walls and look back at the Lenore Cave area.
Directions: Head east on I-90 to exit 151 for Ephrata/Soap Lake. Drive through Ephrata and onto Soap Lake, taking 281 to Hwy 283 N for 14.8 miles. Continue on Hwy 28 for another 10 miles, then turn left onto Hwy 17 and proceed for another 9.6 miles along Lenore Lake to Lenore Lake Road. Turn right onto this graveled road and drive for less than a quarter to a small looped parking lot. There is a privy and a Discover Pass is required.