Steptoe Battlefield is a four-acre, day-use park in Rosalia. This is the site on May 17, 1858, where Lt. Col. E.J. Steptoe led 159 American soldiers in a running fight with a large band of Spokane, Palouse and Coeur D'Alene Native Americans. The American soldiers beat off a series of attacks until night halted the battle. With ammunition almost gone and facing disaster, Lt. Col. Steptoe and his men retreated with their wounded and under the cover of darkness to Fort Walla Walla.

Tried the Rock lake section of the trail but no way to access it. All private property it seems.

We hiked the Rock Lake portion of this trail. I am giving one star due to the fact that there are so many restrictions. We parked at the boat launch and walked the road to the trail. There was a sign restricting vehicles and at the bottom it says you need a permit issued by a ranger and a phone number. In retrospect I should have snapped a picture of that number so you could call and be sent a permit. Not really worth the trouble. The whole road leading up to that part of the trail has private property signs and we were about to find out that parking there is also restricted. So we hiked to the end of the lake and on the way back we were stopped by the land owners on either side driving down the road. One of them was nice enough but the other was upset that we weren't issued permits (at that point we thought having a discovery pass was enough) again it was our bad for not reading the whole thing at the trail head. But one of the guys was barking about how the state gives him a list every month of people allowed to hike this trail. So in that case getting a permit seems like more of a bother then the hike was really worth. Put a damper on the day. If you are in the area you will feel unwelcome by all of the signs alone.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Trail is the former Milwaukee Railroad roadbed and is compacted ballast rock with little grade, good for mountain bikes as well as walking and hiking. The area I hike is west of Pine City and east of the town of Malden and follows Pine Creek. Deer, coyotes, ground hogs and badgers may be seen but be alert for rattlesnakes that may be in the rocks during the summer.