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Based on the name it shouldn’t surprise you that there was once a ferry that operated the crossing of the Snake River, and if the obvious stick hasn’t hit you yet, it was operated by the Lyons family. What might shock you is the fact that the ferry operated from 1860 all the way through 1968 when the bridge was constructed. Lyons Ferry State Park commemorates many historical features of the area in addition to offering loads of outdoor fun.

  • Distance:

    Within 1.5 Hours

  • Difficulty Level:

    Day Tripper, Adventurer, Mountaineer

  • Seasons:

    Spring, Summer, Fall

  • Elevation:

    1,191 feet

  • Pets:

    Yes

  • Status:

    Open

  • Reservations:

    N/A

  • ADA:

    Yes

  • Multi-Use:

    No

  • Motorized Vehicles :

    No

  • Your Public Lands

    Washington State Parks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  • What To Do
    • Hiking

      While there aren’t formal trails, there is plenty of space to wander around and enjoy the interpretive signs as well as follow the shoreline for roughly a mile. The Palouse River meets the Snake River at Lyons Ferry State Park. Enjoy learning about the area’s past--Native American significance, the Lewis & Clark adventure, not to mention geologic beginnings. Palouse Falls is also just down the road and offers a more formal trail system.

    • Fishing

      A plethora of species are ready for the catchin’ in the area, including, steelhead, sturgeon, trout, walleye, catfish, and smallmouth and largemouth bass. Fishing regulations are highly specific and based on location and species. Please always consult the latest information available from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

    • Paddleboarding/ Kayaking

      The park is a great place to paddle really anything for the day. The Palouse River pools up prior to the confluence with the Snake River and water enthusiasts can explore the shoreline, venture up the Palouse River depending on flow, or paddle over to the Starbuck/ Lyons Ferry Marina KOA for an icecream bar.

  • How To Get There

    Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. From Walla Walla, take HWY 125 north for three miles and turn left on Harvey Shaw Road. Harvey Shaw Road becomes Lyons Ferry Road after crossing HWY 124. Once you reach HWY 261, take a left. Cross Lyons Ferry Bridge, and Lyons Ferry Park is on the right.

  • When To Go

    The park opens April 1 and closes September 30. The boat launch attracts many users but most are on the water, so wandering the park has never felt all that crowded. The summer typically brings out the most outdoor enthusiasts, but venturing out on a weekday helps to beat the crowds.

  • What To Expect

    There was once a campground across the highway that made enjoying the park for multiple days much easier. If camping is a must on the agenda, consider the Starbuck/ Lyons Ferry Marina KOA on the other side of Lyons Ferry Bridge or Lewis and Clark Trail State Park just 45 minutes away. Otherwise, the park is open from dawn until dusk. While this part of the world is quite exposed and can heat up quickly, the park enjoys many mature trees that provide ample shade. Birding, swimming, fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are just a few of the activities that come to mind when planning a day at Lyons Ferry State Park.

  • Fees

    There is a $7 boat launch fee.

  • Permits

    Discover Pass required to use the day use area. Purchase a Discover Pass at Bi-Mart, Wal-Mart, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Cascade Farm and Supply, and Dunning Irrigation. You can purchase when renewing your vehicle registration or at the Discover Pass website. Valid Washington fishing license (if fishing). Fishing licenses are available online via the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife or local retail shops such as Bi-Mart, Wal-Mart, Sportsman's Warehouse, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Cascade Farm and Outdoor, and Dunning Irrigation.

  • Regulations

    None other than being good stewards of the land!

  • Amenities

    There are restrooms and showers available at the state park.

  • Wildlife Awareness

    We are all so fortunate to recreate in the Blue Mountains. So many opportunities exist to play outside whether in a national forest, wilderness area, on a Wild and Scenic River, and more! With these opportunities comes great responsibility to appreciate that we are mere visitors and should all take pride in being good stewards of the wild. Many animals call these protected places home, including moose, elk, bear, cougar, bobcat, and snakes to name a few. Take precautions to respect their home and understand the appropriate response should an encounter occur. Additionally, many plant species thrive in the Blue Mountains, so staying on trail is always good practice. Carry First Aid supplies to better respond to accidents or encounters, and always let others know where the day's adventure is taking you.

  • Field Notes

    Navigation: Consider downloading the Avenza Map app. This app allows users to upload three maps (or unlimited with a subscription) to use offline. It can track your location offline and overlay GPS data from the phone onto the map. The vehicle use maps (for trails allowing motorized vehicles) are the easiest to use. Otherwise, Geo Tracker offers similar tracking capabilities and additional details about your adventure. If no service, Geo Tracker will at least show your location. The Blue Mountains and surrounding area offer a remote recreating experience, and knowing your location is paramount to staying safe. Always make sure to bring paper maps. Tell others where your adventure is taking you and when you expect to return.

    Difficulty Level: Here is what we are thinking when we assign a difficulty level: Day Tripper--You don't have much experience in the area but want to get outside! Great for families of all ages. Adventurer--You know your way around the Blue Mountains and love a leisurely day outdoors. Mountaineer--You are ready for a challenge. Wild places excite you and sweat is the goal. Small children beware. Keep in mind some activities may apply to multiple difficulty levels based on usage.

    Pets: In general, pets are allowed on a leash and under control throughout jurisdictions. The only restrictions we have encountered are around swimming areas. As a best practice, be mindful of riparian habitat in general. You never know where a precious spawning area might be located. Pack it in and pack it out applies to your furry friend as well.

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