|Palouse Falls State Park, southeast Washington state (Julianne G. Crane).|
Washington’s Palouse Falls State Park is one of those places that is not on the way to anywhere. You have to want to go there, which makes it perfect for an overnight RV Short Stop.
It sits in the southeast section of Washington state in what is known as the Palouse Country–a region of rolling hills carved out by the Ice Age floods that sliced through this high desert region.
|Palouse Falls, downstream (Julianne G. Crane)|
However, “Long before the Ice Age floods could carve the coulees, waterfalls and cliffs that dominate this landscape, basalt was needed, and in huge quantities. Vents from deep in the earth’s crust supplied the basalt, erupting again and again to cover much of eastern Washington and parts of Oregon and Idaho in a layer cake of basalt thousands of feet thick. Over time, tectonic forces pushed and pulled at the bedrock, opening deep fractures in the basalt,” states park material.
“Millions of years later, Ice Age floods swept through this area. The floodwaters took advantage of fractures, cutting steep channels where the bedrock was weakest and creating Palouse Falls and its canyon. The floods also changed the course of the river.”
Today a 105-acre camping park offers a dramatic view of one of the Washington state’s most dramatic waterfalls. Palouse Falls drops from a height of 198 feet with high volumes of water, especially in the spring and early summer during snow melt.
|Palouse Falls. (Julianne G. Crane)|
If you go
Summer: 6:30 a.m. to dusk.
Winter: 8 a.m. to dusk.
Fee: Day Use $10; or Washington State Discover Pass $30/year.
If you pay overnight camp fee you do not have to pay for Day Use.
$12 / night. Dry camp. Toilets.
Check-in time, 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time, 1 p.m.
Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
Campground water turned off October through April.
Directions: From I-90, exit 221; take WA 261 south, about 45 miles; east 2.5 miles on Palouse Falls Road, portion unpaved. (Not recommended for rigs/drivers that need a lot of turn around space. However, we did witness a very skilled dually driver maneuver a 35-foot 5th-wheel around the small parking lot.)
Click on photos to enlarge: (by Julianne G. Crane)