Washington state’s “official waterfall” is Palouse Falls located a long drive’s away from home in southwestern Washington state. We decided to make a weekend of it and also explore Washington’s wine country in Walla Walla. The falls are our first stop, so let’s get Graham buckled in and get on the road!
Route 261 is the last paved road before the falls and it is a nice one. No traffic and lots of undulating curves. From there, you bail off onto a gravel roadway appropriately named Palouse Falls Road. This road cuts through some free-roaming cattle lands, so you may have to take a moment to allow a new friend time to cross the road.
After paying $5 for parking (since I didn’t own a Discover Pass at the time) it’s a short walk to the lookout where you catch your first view of the 198 foot falls. For reference, that’s 17 feet taller than Niagara Falls.
In 2009, Tyler Bradt set a world record for a waterfall drop when he kayaked over the falls.
The Palouse River has carved an impressive 115 foot canyon into the landscape. This area was covered by massive floods and glaciers which actually changed the course of the river. The Palouse used to flow into the Columbia, but after some glacial changes, the flow now channels into the Snake River.
Keep your eyes peeled for some wildlife on the trail. This little guy was very interested in Graham, but I think Graham would have played a little too rough with him for his liking.