Dry Falls was once the world’s largest (in water volume) waterfall in the world, but that was during the Great Missoula Floods at the end of the last Ice Age. Today the falls is a massive cirque of basalt: Dry Falls Lake. Dry water channels from the Banks Lake area slide south to the lip of the falls, and then the land falls away in great basaltic cliffs.
What was once an ancient splash pool at the base of the falls is now a broad desert meadow dotted with lakes and ponds, swarming with birds and animals of all kinds, shapes, and sizes. This is a uniquely beautiful area to explore, both to delve into the geologic history of the area and to reach out and touch the native flora and fauna of the Washington desert. Umatilla Rock towers like a giant fin in the middle of Grand Coulee in the basin below Dry Falls.
© Alan L. Bauer & Dan A. Nelson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.