Stunning Geology: Frenchman Coulee
Vantage, Wa GPS: 47.0253, -119.968
Towering Basalt Pillars are great for climbers
Hiking in the area offers stunning views.
Boating /Fishing Access Available
Climbing, Hiking, Camping, Fishing
Located in the central-est of central Washington, the striking landscapes of Frenchman Coulee remind us of the great adventures to be had east of the Cascades. Frenchman Coulee is especially renowned among rock-climbers because of the towering basalt pillars which have come to define the geology of the area. “The Feathers” and “The Sunshine Wall” are especially popular among regulars to the area. Getting to the Sunshine Wall itself is a fun adventure, requiring you to slip into a thin crevasse between the rocks, shimmying between two stone walls before being greeted by the towering basalt pillars on the other side.
If you are looking to keep your feet a little closer to the ground, the stunning natural rock formations that litter this area can be enjoyed along a lovely 4.8 mile out and back trail. After descending to the base of a massive rock wall, seasonally you can find a waterfall cascading over the stone. In the spring, there are an abundance of wildflowers to enjoy as you walk along the floor of the gorge.
The area is also a popular camping spot, and there is fishing access as well.
MAP & DIRECTIONS
Getting there: From Ellensburg, take I-90 east to Vantage, then continue following I-90 north after crossing over the bridge. Take exit 143 for silica road, then at the first intersection take a left on Vantage Rd. From there "The Feathers,” a popular climbing spot is just a mile up the road. For the trail, travel 2.6 miles to a small, easy-to-miss gravel parking lot on the right, surrounded by concrete barriers.