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Horsethief Lake State Park
In Klickitat County, WA


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Horsethief Lake State Park

Lupine and balsam root bloom in mid-April making spectacular fields of purple and gold. Rock climbing is possible in this park.

Location

In Klickitat County, 17 miles east of White Salmon and 28 miles west of Goldendale on State Route 14.

She Who Watches - Horsethief LakePark Hours
Summer: 6:30 a.m. to dusk.
Winter: Closed Oct. 29 to March 29.
Camping:
Check-in time, 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time, 1 p.m.
Quiet hours: 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Acreage
337.97 acres and 7,500 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Columbia River.

Acquired
The park was acquired in four parcels; the first in 1964 and the last in 1977.

Historical Background
For centuries, the park was the site of a Native American village. The Lewis and Clark expedition camped at the village and described its wooden houses in one of their journals. The village was flooded by the waters of The Dalles Dam.

Oral history states that the park received its name from workers in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who developed the site. The workers thought the terrain was similar to that of horsethief hideouts in popular 1950s Hollywood westerns. The abundance of horses kept on the premises by local Indians apparently gave the workers their inspiration.

Facilities
12 campsites, 35 picnic sites, comfort station, 2 non-vehicle sites, 2 boat launches, trailer dump, 2 miles of road, 2 miles of trail, residence, shop.

Of Special Interest
Some rattlesnakes live in the area, but they are fairly rare. The bullsnake is more common. Its color and markings are similar to a rattlesnake's, but they don't have rattles and they are not venomous.
Watch out for poison oak in the rock climbing areas of the butte. They appear as woody shrubs along the base of some rockwalls. When foliated they have glossy leaves in groups of three and little round white berries.

Activities
Trails
12.4 mi. Hiking Trails

Water Activities
Boating (freshwater)
Boating (freshwater, non-motorized)
2 boat ramps (freshwater)
Fishing (freshwater)
Swimming (freshwater)

Other
Bird Watching
1 Horseshoe pit
Interpretive Activities
Rock Climbing
Sailboarding
Wildlife Viewing

Driving Directions
From Oregon:
Driving east or west on I-84, take exit #87 and drive north on U.S. 197 across the Columbia River bridge. Continue north about four miles to SR 14, and turn right, heading east. The park is located at milepost-85.

From Washington:
Drive east or west on SR 14 along the Columbia River. The park is located at milepost-85.

Back to State parks
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Courtesy of Washington State Park and Recreation Commission

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