Blue Lake Rhino


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 What:  Geological/Paleontological Interest and probably fun for a rock climber who has access to a canoe, kayak or such. I can't recommend this climb for anyone but a healthy person, as the climb is basically dangerous in its steepness and the slippery talus slope. This climb would be very easy for a rock climber. I greatly enjoyed this challenge that mixes kayak and rock scrambling. Seeing something so old was very different for me. This climb can be done by anyone that is healthy and very careful about safety on the climb. Go slow and use the stable rocks as a safety hold. First climb to the cave and then walk horizontal towards the main body of Blue Lake. Then go up along the solid rock using your arms and hands on the established rock as with a handrail to help your slipping feet on the talus. There are about 200 feet of talus that must be climbed. I'm 55 years old and not very athletic and I made it, but if it was any harder I couldn't have made it. Local rangers discourage people from this climb due to inherent danger. For another interesting cast made by lava flow see Devil's Well.

 Where:  Go west on highway 2 to Coulee City, and then cross the dike at the bottom of Banks Lake. At the far end take the left onto Highway 17 South. It is only a few miles to Blue Lake and then take a left there and drive only a few hundred feet to the entrance of a park where you can pay $2.00 for parking and boat launch. I used a kayak to paddle 10 minutes into the south lobe of the lakes upper part. This goes into a canyon called Jasper canyon. As soon as you get into that south lobe of the lake start looking on the right side of the water on the cliff for a cave near the end of the lobe where you can easily land your boat. Now look for the painted R. Take the easiest path up to the cave as it is harder than it looks.

 Cautions:  This climb is inherently dangerous for non rock climbers. Definitely do not take a child on this climb, or anyone with any kind of handicap in the legs. If you slip and can't catch yourself immediately, it will be hard to slow down and stop without laying down and grabbing for any stability. Coming down was hard for me, so I sat down and slid down slowly. This tore my pants some.

 List:  Boat of some sort or rent a boat from camps, lots of water, suntan lotion  Email Us