Hat Rock State Park, located off U.S. Highway 730 nine miles east of Umatilla, lies on the south shore of Lake Wallula behind McNary Dam on the Columbia River. Hat Rock was the first distinctive landmark passed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on their journey down the Columbia, and is one of the few remaining sites not underwater.
The park is a desert oasis surrounded by rolling sagebrush hills and outcroppings of basalt. This special place offers visitors a chance to escape the summer heat under the shelter of cottonwood and black locust ringed by acres of green grass. A boat ramp provides access to the lake, which is noted for walleye, sturgeon, and other fish. Water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, and boating are popular here. The park has its own pond stocked with rainbow trout and provides year-round habitat for waterfowl.
Bring the kids, enjoy a day on the water, fish in the pond, or play volleyball in the sand court. Hat Rock offers the opportunity to get out and enjoy nature with spacious, well-maintained grounds that offer lots of room for your family or large group to get together for outdoor recreation and fun.
The Hat Rock Trail ascends to the base of Hat Rock and offers a chance to enjoy nature along the pond. Interpretive displays tell about the area's wildlife and past volcanic activity. A short spur leads across the pond to the 10-mile Umatilla County Lewis and Clark Commemorative Trail and Lake Wallula overlook. You will find information there about the trail and the Lewis and Clark expedition.
The park's pond, its lakeside position and its irrigated expanses are home to abundant waterfowl. Barn owls live on the cliffs above Lake Wallula. Eagles also spend winters along the lake shore. Beavers, muskrats and deer are among the resident mammals.
The original park land was purchased from private owners and leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the time of McNary Dam construction from 1951 to 1953. Later, lands were acquired and leased up to 1968.