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Columbia Basin - Floodscapes, Scablands, and Sagebrush-Steppe
The Columbia Basin in E Washington, is made of thousands of feet thick basalt built by hundreds of lava flows, later carved by over 100 catastrophic Ice Age Floods, and covered by farmland, livestock ranges, and greatly diminished areas of sagebrush-steppe communities. The Flood-created coulees, cataracts, potholes, flood bars, giant current ripples and other landforms are spectacular and fascinating as the geologic mysteries behind them are still evolving. The area hosts great wildflowers, animals and birds, many endemic and/or endangered, though they may be hard to find in a seemingly barren environment. Historically significant cultural sites abound, whether of early settlers that eked out a living on the arid landscape, or of prehistoric Columbia River Basin peoples.
Babcock Bench and the basalt cliffs across the Columbia from West Bar.
The one legal camp site on West Bar, where the Elk migrate down to in winter.  It's got it's own little beach at Columbia River level.
The old signage in the area was barely legible, very old.  
 Pointing the direction to West Bar and junctions with Brewton, Tekison, and Brushy Creek...
Early Sept was archery season for Rocky Mountain Mule Deer and Elk.   Muleys, like these on Tarpiscan Rd, were around, but didn't catch site of any...
Deceptively Rugged: Although the low, rounded mountains of the Colockum Wildlife Area seem benign, and this road segment looks do-able in a passenger...
Dispersed camping within 100' of a "green dot" road almost anywhere in area.  Plenty of hunters camps on the flat hilltops of Colockum Rd, or a short...
On North Fork Tarpiscan Rd, turning off the main Colockum Rd toward West Bar.
North entrance of Colockum Wildlife Area, primarily used by hunters ... but also by mountain bikers, ATV-ers and wildflower types like myself.  The...
North entrance of Colockum Wildlife Area, where Colockum Rd pavement ends
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