Balanced Rock

 

 
  01 02  

 What:  This is a beautiful drive through the Colville Indian Reservation and a small hike. This balanced rock is on a hillside overlooking Omak Lake on the Colville Indian Reservation, and is the type called an "erratic" by geologists. This means it was carried from its place of origin, possibly many hundreds of miles away, to a new location by the ice age glaciers. Most of these rocks were either scooped out of canyon walls or toppled down into the slow-moving ice. When the warming winds came at the end of the ice age, the glaciers slowly melted and this boulder came to rest. Most such boulders settled into the soil, but this one came to rest on another rock. As time passed, the soil eroded between them and the boulder became a balancing act. Locally these rocks are called "haystacks" because they can be mistaken from a distance for a stack of hay. The policeman and McDonald's employees we talked to had not heard of the rock, though one person said that all locals knew about the rock!

 Where:  Drive to the city of Omak and find the Lumber Mill which all the locals seem to know the whereabouts of, and from there find the road that goes down the west side of Omak lake on reservation land. The Washington State Atlas and Gazeteer has the rock marked. Drive down the length of this beautify lake, and as you begin to see the South end of the lake, take a left that will hug the lake shore and look for the rock at the top of a medium height knoll off a two rut dirt road to your right. We drove within 100 yards even though the road is rough, and then hiked the hill. We then suggest continuing driving either of the 2 southerly roads here through the rest of the Reservation south to highway 155 which comes directly to Coulee Dam and then Spokane.Topological Map

 Cautions:  I would get a copy of the Delorme Washington State Atlas and Gazeteer if you don't have one as it makes this trip easier. Be aware of property rights when crossing the reservation, both private and Tribal. Remove nothing. Also, if you visit the balancing rock and you decide you want to swim in Omak Lake, keep north of the Balancing Rock as beaches south of it are reserved for Tribal Members Only. If you want information about hunting or fishing on the Colville Indian Reservation write to Fish & Wildlife Dept. Colville Confederated Tribes P.O. Box 150, Nespelem WA   99155. 

 List:    Water, binoculars, picnic, and in summer swimming suit.Email Us