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Hat Rock State Park. On the south shore of Lake Wallula, a 70-foot basalt rock is the first major landmark that Lewis and Clark passed on their expedition down the Columbia. In his notations, William Clark called it "Hat Rock," and the name stuck. Standing tall amid rolling sagebrush hills, it overlooks Lake Wallula, a popular spot for jet skiing, swimming, boating, and fishing for rainbow trout, walleye, and sturgeon. In addition to water sports, the park provides scenic picnic spots and expansive views of the stark, desertlike landscape. But because it abuts an upscale lakeside housing development that's visible from some portions of the park, it might be a challenge to pretend you're back in the days of Lewis and Clark. U.S. 730, 9 mi. east of Umatilla, 82375 C St., , Hermiston, OR, 97838. 800/551–6949. www.oregonstateparks.org. Free. Dawn–dusk year-round.
Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge. The 23,555-acre refuge includes marsh, woodland, and wetland habitats that make it vital to migrating waterfowl and bald eagles, in addition to myriad species of resident wildlife. Although there are numerous routes to access portions of the refuge, the best and easiest way to view wildlife in ponds and wetlands is to drive along the McCormick Auto Tour Route, accessible from Paterson Ferry Road, off Route 730, 9 mi west of Umatilla. Stretches from Boardman, 20 mi west of Umatilla, to Irrigon, 9 mi west of Umatilla, north of I–84 along Columbia River, Umatilla, OR, 97818. 509/546–8300. www.fws.gov/Umatilla. Free. Daily dawn–dusk on designated roadways only.
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