A chance to explore Odessa Craters

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  • Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald Above: The Amphitheatre Crater is one of three major crater formations that can be visited just north of Odessa off Highway 21. Below: Reaching a highest point of around 1,700 feet, the trek around the looped Odessa Craters Trail provides a chance to witness the region’s geological history, as well as the landscape that exists today.

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    Casey McCarthy/ Columbia Basin Herald There are a number of small lakes and bodies of water scattered around the Odessa Craters Trail.

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    Casey McCarthy/ Columbia Basin Herald Formed thousands of years ago by the floods that shaped the region, the Odessa Craters Trail provide a chance to witness some of the terrains left behind.

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    Casey McCarthy/ Columbia Basin Herald The Odessa Craters Trail is scattered with sagebrush and countless other plantlife, while offereing wide panoramic views of the area that surrounds it.

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    Casey McCarthy/ Columbia Basin Herald Reaching a highest point of around 1,700 feet, the trek around the looped Odessa Craters Trail provides a chance to witness the region’s geological history, as well as the landscape that exists today.

  • Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald Above: The Amphitheatre Crater is one of three major crater formations that can be visited just north of Odessa off Highway 21. Below: Reaching a highest point of around 1,700 feet, the trek around the looped Odessa Craters Trail provides a chance to witness the region’s geological history, as well as the landscape that exists today.

  • 1

    Casey McCarthy/ Columbia Basin Herald There are a number of small lakes and bodies of water scattered around the Odessa Craters Trail.

  • 2

    Casey McCarthy/ Columbia Basin Herald Formed thousands of years ago by the floods that shaped the region, the Odessa Craters Trail provide a chance to witness some of the terrains left behind.

  • 3

    Casey McCarthy/ Columbia Basin Herald The Odessa Craters Trail is scattered with sagebrush and countless other plantlife, while offereing wide panoramic views of the area that surrounds it.

  • 4

    Casey McCarthy/ Columbia Basin Herald Reaching a highest point of around 1,700 feet, the trek around the looped Odessa Craters Trail provides a chance to witness the region’s geological history, as well as the landscape that exists today.

ODESSA — Just north of Odessa lies a trail that allows visitors to explore a unique landscape created by the floods that scoured much of the region thousands of years ago.

The Odessa Craters Trail is a two-mile looped trail that circles a region just off the road, with varying elevation and terrain. The highest point on the trek sits at around 1,700 feet, with an elevation change of about 200 feet, according to the Washington Trails Association.

Many of the low lying areas are entrenched with small lakes, surrounded with brush and other wildflowers and tall grass. These areas provide unique locations that often offer the opportunity to view a number of different birds and wildlife that frequent the area.

The trail’s varying elevation presents a chance to view the rolling pastures and grasslands that make up much of the area around the craters. The trails, while varying in their width and difficulty, are fairly accessible to hikers of any level.

Perhaps the largest of the craters that can be visited on the trek is the Amphitheater Crater. Encased by rising rock tiers on one side, with sage and tall grass filling the rest of the space surrounding the small body of water at its center, the area presents itself as a “natural theater” created over thousands of years.

Depending on the time of year a visit to the trail is made, portions of the hike have been known to be a bit damp at times. Blooms of the various flowers and other plant life carpet parts of the area, depending on the season.

The trailhead is easily accessible from the parking lot, just off the road, which itself can be found without much exploration thanks to signs and markers on Highway 21. Like most trails in the area, a Discover Pass is required for those who come to visit.

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