Hat Rock

Yellow prairie grasses with large hat shaped rock in the distance

Quick Facts

Lewis and Clark NHT Visitor Centers and Museums

Visitor Centers (shown in orange), High Potential Historic Sites (shown in black), and Pivotal Places (shown in green) along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Hat Rock is a High Potential Historic Site on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

On October 19, 1805, as the expedition canoed down the Columbia River, Clark noted “a rock on the Lard. Shore resembling a hat at a rapid at the lower point of an Island in the middle of the river on which there is 7 Lodges of nativs drying fish, and opposit the head of an Isld. near the Std. side on which is 5 Lodges of na­tivs drying fish.” During the 1805-1806 winter at Fort Clatsop, Clark prepared a list of “Estimated Distances in Miles” from Fort Mandan to the Pacific Coast, using “remarkable places” such as distinctive landmarks, confluences, and villages as reference points. Included in that list is “the hat rock.”

Located about nine miles east of Umatilla off of Highway 730, Hat Rock is a formation of exposed basalt that rises approximately 70 feet to a plateau. It is located within the 719-acre Hat Rock State Park, which was established during the construction of the McNary Dam circa 1951-1953. On-site wayside exhibits and signage interpret the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Day-use recreation opportunities include activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding, and hiking. The park also provides an access point for the Lewis and Clark Commemorative Trail- a footpath along the Columbia River that extends west to the McNary Beach Recreation Area.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Last updated: November 27, 2020