Thanks to a group of local, engaged elementary students, Palouse Falls is the official state waterfall of Washington. Dropping roughly 180 feet, Palouse Falls is a must see attraction. It is truly an impressive feature of the landscape. The park offers multiple views of the falls, and many interpretive signs enrich the experience.
What To Do
Official trails to viewpoints are paved, ADA accessible, and short, which makes this destination very family friendly. The expansive views of the falls and surrounding landscape are literally right outside your car door. Beyond the 0.1 mile viewpoint trail, all other trails are enter at your own risk. The area is steep and uneven with loose rock. Snakes are definitely in the area. Use your best judgement.
The campground has 11 primitive tent-only sites available. One site is ADA accessible. There is one pit toilet available. Water is available typically from April to October. This area is heavily used, if the campground is full consider other camping opportunities in the area such as Starbuck / Lyons Ferry Marina KOA, Tucannon River RV Park, Texas Rapids Recreation Area, Little Goose Landing, or Lewis and Clark Trail State Park.
While there is no access to the Palouse River from the park, confident paddlers can kayak up the Palouse River from Lyons Ferry State Park. It is approximately five miles to Palouse Falls from Lyons Ferry State Park. Again, use your best judgement. The current from the falls is extremely strong. Do not enter the plunge pool.
What To Expect
Folks at the National Park Service are working toward a comprehensive trail system that would tell the story of the ice age floods. Palouse Falls would absolutely be one of the destinations along the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail (as proposed), thus reinforcing the significance of the area. This area is already heavily utilized and can at times be pretty crowded. Consider off season usage or go early to beat the heat and the crowds in the summer. Palouse Falls is definitely worth the effort. As a personal note, of the many times my family has visited the falls, inevitably we observe folks not taking the hike at your own risk warning to heart. Please know that tragic accidents happen, and always err on the side of caution.
When To Go
The park is open year-round. Winter hours for the day-use area are 8:30 am to dusk; summer hours are 6:30 am to dusk. The waterfall definitely wears the seasons well, so visit often. A day at the falls in the winter is much different than in the spring.
How To Get There
Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. Take HWY 125 north out of Walla Walla for three miles and take a left on Harvey Shaw/ Lyons Ferry Road (potentially unmarked). Follow for 42 miles then take a left on HWY 261. Cross the bridge over the Snake River and continue another five miles to Palouse Falls Road on your right. Turn on Palouse Falls Road, which ends at the park.
Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained.
- Your Public Lands
Washington State Parks, Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail (National Park Service)
Within 1.5 Hours
Day Tripper, Adventurer, Mountaineer
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
The day use fee is $10, and the camping fee is $12 per night. There is an additional fee for an extra vehicle of $10 per night. Bring cash or check as there is no service for electronic forms of payment. Please bring exact change.
A Discover Pass satisfies the day-use fee.
No camping in the parking lot either in an RV or vehicle is allowed. Otherwise, be good stewards of the land!
Vault toilets are available near the parking lot. Water is available April to October. There is one picnic shelter with a table and brazier (firepit) and seven uncovered braziers. An additional 15 unsheltered picnic tables and two acres of picnicking area is available to spread a blanket. Picnic sites are first come first served. For camping, there are 11 primitive campsites, one of which is ADA accessible. If the park is full, Lyons Ferry State Park is also a great place to recreate.