I have been planning a drive to Palouse Falls in eastern Washington for a afternoon of photos and I was not disappointed. I got one of those amazing cloud days and it was a great early spring type day. It was a great day to explore and as always the drive was a part of the experience. If you plan the trip well, you can stop and capture some great photos. I came in from the Tri-Cities and enjoyed the drive on Hwy 260 from Connell after 395 from Pasco. It took about 90 minutes from Pasco Washington.
The Falls flow all year and are 198 feet from top to bottom. Just next to the parking lot is a trail that crosses over to the falls and if you turn left you can go over to the train tracks that cut right through the Basalt and get even more amazing photos.
If you plan on going, make sure you purchase a Discover pass online for the year or day pass. Washington requires one to visit State Parks. The cost for one vehicle is $35 a year or $11.50 a day counting the processing fee. That will get you into as many state park's in Washington you can visit. It is more to camp so check for those fess as well as extra cars overnight.
You can go online at http://www.discoverpass.wa.gov/ and get a temp pass until your annual pass is mailed to you or just purchase a day pass. You can also call by phone at (866) 320-9933 if you get through.
- Summer, 6:30 a.m. – dusk
- Winter hours are 8 a.m. – dusk
Discover Pass Free Days are:
- Mon, Mar. 19
- Sat, Apr. 14
- Sun, Apr. 22
The falls were created by Ice age glacier floods over 13,000 year back and the Palouse Falls State Park was dedicated on June 3, 1951. The 105 acres that make up the park were donated by several parties, including The Baker-Boyer National Bank of Walla Walla (73 acres), J.M. McGregor of the McGregor Land and Livestock Company (22 acres), Mrs. Agnes Sells of Washtucna (9 acres) and others.
Palouse Falls was designated as the state waterfall by the Washington State legislature on March 18, 2014. The bill designating the waterfall was written by 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students of the nearby Washtucna School. Go Kids!
Hiking trails of .5 miles with .25 miles of trail that leads around the falls. There is one covered picnic are that is first come first serve. The park provides one picnic shelter with a table and brazier (container for wood or hot coals), seven uncovered braziers, 15 unsheltered picnic tables, and 2-acres of picnicking area. Picnic sites are first come, first served. This park is a cash or check only location. Due to technical issues no credit card kiosk is available.
There are trails that lead you down to the head rapids before the falls and trails that take you up close for photos. Yellow Bellied Marmots are all around the pathways so get you smart phone or camera ready. The farm land around the falls are mostly in the desert but the Basalt rock and lush green around the falls make this a wonderful vista. as you go further east 10 miles north of Pullman, Kamiak Butte, named after Chief Kamiakin of the Yakima Indian tribe. You will have a view that may only be eclipsed by Steptoe Bute located 12 miles north of Colfax, Washington.
The springtime photos of the farmlands here are world renowned. The Palouse Falls drive from Connell is not bad either. I took this photo of the highway winding through the valley down into the basin right back on top again. I included a shot of the left side of this canyon as the highway winds it’s way back up on top. The clouds stole the show for me on this trip and the sunset on the way home was breathtaking. If you plan to take a journey soon let us know on Blue Dog RV Facebook and we will share any photos you send.
Camping is available: The park has 10 tent spaces (one ADA), one dump station and two restrooms. The skies at night are worth the night staying in a tent.
For RVing check out the nearby STARBUCK / LYONS FERRY MARINA KOA
- Open January 2 - November 15
- Reserve: 800-562-5418
- Info: 509-399-8020
- located at: 102 Lyons Ferry Road, Starbuck, WA 99359