We took a road trip this weekend out to Eastern Washington to visit our friends Jason and Jena. Since we were out in the area I couldn’t pass up the chance to check out Palouse Falls. I’d never been before and even though WTA said the “hike” there was only 1 mile long, it looked so beautiful I wanted to see it with my own eyes. We all drove out to what seemed like the middle of nowhere down a one lane dirt road and finally arrived at a parking lot. As soon as we got out of the car we could see the falls.
They are absolutely spectacular cascading almost 200 feet down into a beautiful pool below, it’s really no wonder why this was named the official waterfall of Washington State. As we got closer we could see a maze of trails winding along the cliff sides near the falls. There are many warning signs highlighting the dangers of some of these trails and getting too close to the falls, as there have been several deaths over the last few years. We proceeded with caution and began down a trail which dropped into a canyon near the top of the falls.
At the end of the last ice age, repeated glacial floods swept across this part of Washington carving out the unique rock formations and canyon walls that we found ourselves surrounded by. We continued along the river, awe struck by the beauty, until the trail ended on a cliff with large rock towers overlooking the falls.
What I thought was going to be a drive to a scenic viewpoint turned into a mini adventure with great friends. These unplanned adventures, full of surprises, always make some of the best memories, and this is one I won’t soon forget!
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Before attempting the trails around Palouse Falls, please visit WTA.com for hike difficulty, gear requirements, and recent trip reports.