This image is a hand-held pano taken above the Goose Lake trail head at the northern part of the Drumheller Channels reserve, just below O’Sullivan Dam. This was our final stop on our Sandhill Crane photo shoot. We took a leisurely hike (walk) to cap off a great trip. Spring is a beautiful time to visit the Channels. I was hoping for some big white puffy clouds. But it just did not happen this trip. I will return …
The first thing I thought of when I looked up and saw this section of columnar basalt was that it was missing a tooth. Columnar basalt is very susceptible to water erosion because of its many fissures. The raging water of the Missoula Floods easily plucked the columns from their path.
Water did this! During the Missoula Floods water rushed through Drumheller Channels at about 55 miles per hour. The water level was about 200 feet above the mesa on the upper right corner of the photo. Through the Drumheller Channels the water followed multiple channels. Turbulent circular, tornado like, flows cut potholes throughout the area. This one is unique due to the outcropping in the “eye” of the swirl.
A short walk on the Upper Goose Lake trail will bring you to this amazing phenomenon. The uniqueness of this area continues to amaze me.
It is hard to comprehend how enormous the Missoula Ice Age Floods were. The edge of the bluff in the top left hand corner is approximately 200 feet high. The water level during the Missoula Floods was about 200 feet above the top of the mesa. The distance across the Drumheller Channels was 8-11 miles wide. The water is estimated to have moved through here at 50+ miles/hour. The landscape left behind is amazing. My mind wanders about contemplating what it must have been like.
This image was taken at the overlook off the main road running through the reserve.
This image was taken from the top of Saddle Mountain (~1,300 ft elevation) looking north east over the Othello basin toward the Drumheller Channels. Imagine a wall of water 200 – 300 feet high racing over an 8-11 mile stretch over the Drumheller Channels at over 60 miles per hour. This was the amount of water that was released (multiple times) when the Lake Missoula glacier dam broke releasing the water over the Eastern Washington basin. Saddle Mountain broke the onslaught of water. Some flowed west through the Crab Creek Coulee to the Columbia River and Sentinal Gap. The remainder rushed around the eastern edge of the Mountain and into the Pasco Basin and Lake Lewis.