QUINCY — Just outside of Quincy, hides a hidden oasis within the basalt rock and desert plains. Ancient Lakes bring backpackers and campers to see the area every year, and all that it offers.
Visitors will find the area, and its trails after passing the many vineyards that surround the route down towards the Columbia Basin’s edge. The trailhead provides plenty of parking for visitors, while a Discover Pass is required for those making the trip.
The area, like so much of the Columbia Basin region, was carved out many years ago by the immense flowing waters of the Missoula floods. Scenically settled alongside the Basin, the trail circles through the coulee, giving visitors a view of the lakes, filled from the irrigation waters flowing from farmlands nearby. In addition to the lakes, there are even sparse waterfalls spilling over the basalt hills into the region.
The Ancient Lakes Trail, comes in at 12 miles, roundtrip, according to Washington Trails Association. The trail features an elevation gain of 625 feet, with the highest point reached sitting at 1,200 feet.
With little to no cover along the trail, being sure to bring plenty of water for the trek is encouraged. Ensure caution as you may make your way along the trail as well, as rattlesnakes are present in the area as well. Whether making the trip out for a day hike to take in the views, or for an overnight camp, Ancient Lakes provides views of everything the Basin area has to come to be known for, in spectacular fashion.