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Palouse Falls State Park

Palouse Falls State Park: A Spectacular Natural Gem in Eastern Washington

Welcome to Palouse Falls State Park, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of eastern Washington. It’s located about 4 hours southeast of Seattle and 1.5 hours south of Spokane in Washington’s Palouse region.


Palouse Falls State Park was established in 1951 to preserve the natural beauty and cultural significance of the area. Covering approximately 105 acres the park provides visitors with access to view the falls, hiking trails, camping facilities for both tent and RV sites for spending a night under the stars, along with other recreational activities. Be sure to check current camping status on the Washington State Park site.

Palouse Falls was formed between 13,000 to 15,000 years ago during the Ice Age. The waterfall was created by the massive Missoula Floods, a series of cataclysmic floods caused by the rupture of the ice dam that held back Glacial Lake Missoula in Montana. These floods carved out the deep canyons and basalt cliffs that surround Palouse Falls, leaving behind the breathtaking landscape we enjoy today.


Palouse Falls


Palouse Falls actually consists of two separate drops, the upper falls with a drop of about 20 feet are located about 1,000 feet upstream of the main falls. The main falls drop 198 feet. The water flow at Palouse Falls can vary greatly depending on the season and rainfall. Spring is generally a great time to visit, as the water levels tend to be higher, making for a more dramatic display. However, every season has its own charm, and the falls are worth visiting anytime throughout the year.  You may want to time your visit near sunset to witness the light and shadows change along the canyon walls.



The falls hold cultural and spiritual significance for the Native American tribes in the region, particularly the Palouse people after whom the falls are named. The Palouse considered the falls to be a sacred place that  possessed healing powers. The falls were used as a community gathering place where ceremonies and rituals were held.

There are a number of well-maintained trails in the park suitable for all skill levels. From leisurely strolls to more challenging hikes, each trail presents visitors with stunning vistas and unique geological formations. The cliffs surrounding the falls can be dangerous, so be sure to exercise caution and stay within designated viewing areas.

Dangerous TrailYou may notice a dirt path that descends into the canyon; understand that this path is not an official trail and the State Park encourages hikers NOT to use it. The user created path is very narrow and steep with many loose rocks that make for a potentially hazardous descent. Note also that swimming in the falls is strictly prohibited due to strong currents.

Palouse Falls have gained recognition as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest. They actually became the official state waterfall of the State of Washington on February 12, 2014 when the Washington House of Representatives unanimously passed HB 2119. The proposal was started by a group of elementary school students in the nearby town of Washtucna when they lobbied the state legislature.

Overall, Palouse Falls State Park is a bucket list destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. With its breathtaking waterfall, hiking trails, and picturesque surroundings, it provides a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Note that a one-day or annual Discover Pass is required. An automated pay station is available. For more info visit Palouse Falls State Park.


Nearby Attractions:

Lyons Ferry State Park: After visiting Palouse Falls consider heading over to Lyons Ferry State Park just 15 minutes south on Hwy 261 to enjoy the green space and a picnic! A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. For more info visit Lyons Ferry State Park. (Lyons Ferry State Park Photos Source: Washington State Parks)


#thatNWbus: Speaking of Washtucna WA… #thatNWbus roadside attraction might be right on your way depending on where your coming from. It’s located just outside Washtucna right off of Highway 261 between Kennewick and Spokane. The bus is located on a vacant dirt lot with plenty of space to turn in and park.

Directions To #thatNWBus:



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