Palouse Falls

Washtucna, Washington

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1 Review
3 out of 5
Its size and splendor make Palouse Falls one of the most scenic and impressive waterfalls in all of Washington, but its location adds even more magic and wonder to its image. Nestled in a deep coulee, the Palouse River creeps mostly unseen through the scablands north of the Snake River. It is only when you are right at the edge of the river’s chasm that you can see and appreciate the deep cut the river makes through the basalt highlands. The same holds true for the falls, which starts in a deep cut and falls into a deeper hole. The falls can’t be seen until you are nearly on top of it, but then—wow! A broad, broken plateau of black basalt stretches out to the horizon as you approach the entrance to the state park, when suddenly— boom!—there they are: the thundering waters of Palouse Falls pounding 198 feet into a circular bowl carved out of the cinder-black rock.
Best Desert Hikes Washington

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Desert Hikes Washington

by Alan L. Bauer & Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)

Its size and splendor make Palouse Falls one of the most scenic and impressive waterfalls in all of Washington, but its location adds even more magic and wonder to its image. Nestled in a deep coulee, the Palouse River creeps mostly unseen through the scablands north of the Snake River. It is only when you are right at the edge of the river’s chasm that you can see and appreciate the deep cut the river makes through the basalt highlands. The same holds true for the falls, which starts in a deep cut and falls into a deeper hole.

The falls can’t be seen until you are nearly on top of it, but then—wow! A broad, broken plateau of black basalt stretches out to the horizon as you approach the entrance to the state park, when suddenly— boom!—there they are: the thundering waters of Palouse Falls pounding 198 feet into a circular bowl carved out of the cinder-black rock.

©  Alan L. Bauer & Dan A. Nelson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Washtucna
Distance: 3
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Up to 3 hours
Season: March through June
Trailhead Elevation: 923 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Local Contacts: Washington State Parks and Recreation
Local Maps: Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Connell
Driving Directions: Directions to Palouse Falls

Recent Trail Reviews

3/19/2011
0

You drive through the desert foothills, and then, BAM, you're in the center of a pretty amazing canyon. Once you're parked, you can see the falls right away, and they are pretty impressive. There are a number of lookouts that you can use in lieu of taking the hike. As for the hike itself? I'd rate it as pretty easy. The description says that it's 3 miles round trip, but I'd put it closer to two. There are a number of ways to get down to the falls, some MUCH hairier than others. There is a bunch of loose rock at the beginning, and the trail itself is pretty narrow in other places. At the falls are a set of beautiful spires and a great view of the entire canyon. There are only a couple of places where my heart rate spiked, and in all, this was a great little hike to start the season off with.



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May 2018