Horsethief Lake State Park, Washington

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Horsethief Lake State Park


Horsethief Lake State Park forms one portion of the Columbia Hills State Park in Washington State near the Columbia River Gorge; camping, river access, and ancient Native rock art distinguish this area.

  • Resting on the Columbia River’s northern shores, Horsethief Lake State Park has camping, river access, and views of the stunning Gorge.
  • Some of the oldest Native American rock art in the Northwest is visible in the park’s cliffs.
  • Guided tours of the rock art can be reserved by calling in advance, (509) 767-1159.

Overview

Some of the oldest Native American petroglyphs and pictographs in the Pacific Northwest can be seen in the basalt cliffs around Horsethief Lake State Park, which sits on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge northeast of The Dalles, Oregon. This camping area is the southwestern section of Columbia Hills State Park, which offers various campsites, 7,500 feet of Columbia shoreline access, and more evidence of Native American cultural activity.

Location & Information

Horsethief Lake is located in central Washington State on the Columbia River Gorge. To reach the park from Hood River, take Interstate 84 East to Highway 197 and cross the river at Biggs. Turn east on Highway 14, and drive about 4 miles to Horsethief Lake.

Call the park office, (509) 767-1159, for more information.

Activities

  • Camping: 8 tent spaces, 8 utility spaces, 2 primitive hiker/bicycle campsites, dump station, and restroom.
  • Ancient Native Rock Art: The well-known “She Who Watches” petroglyph is one of many found here. Guided tours of the park’s Indian rock art are available by reservation; call (509) 767-1159.
  • Horsethief Lake has two boat ramps and motorboats are allowed.
  • Water Sports: Columbia River access is good for boating, fishing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding.

Fun Facts

The site of Horsethief Lake State Park once served as the largest burial ground for the region’s Native American tribes.


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