Last summer I was looking for somewhere exciting to take some family members visiting from Canada. I love the Columbia Basin but as far as sight seeing it just doesn’t have as much to offer as the western side of this vast State. So some friends suggested going to check out the Palouse Falls. Having come from only a couple of hours away from Niagara Falls I really did not think it could be nearly as exciting as Niagara but boy was I in for a treat!
Eastern Washington is very much considered desert land, and the further you travel thru the flat plains with intermittent rolling hills of dry land wheat farming there is not a whole lot to be seen. Not much for buildings, not much for traffic, not a lot of wild life, if you’re traveling on a windy day the excitement lies in the art of dodging the blowing tumble weed. So to stumble upon a water fall in the middle of the desert is quite unexpected, especially one with such raging angry waters as this one!
The Palouse is a State Park, literally in the middle of nowhere! To get to the falls you can pass thru the small town of “Washtucna.” A town that once upon a time was a place inhabited by homesteaders, dry land wheat farmers, railroad workers and the likes thereof. Now, you come to this little place, with streets of closed up shops and abandoned homes, a place where you likely wouldn’t want to run out of gas! But, there’s something about it, like it belongs to the lay of the land.
Most State or Provincial Parks that I’ve been to put fences up along the high points, discouraging hikers and adventure seekers from stepping too close to the edge. Not at the Palouse! You enter at your own risk, no fencing to keep anyone from plunging 375 feet down into the bottom of the canyon! Heights have never bothered me, until I took my two year old son to his park. Suddenly, all this place could be viewed as is Danger! But, Oh Wow! It’s still oh so beautiful and at some point in my life I fully intend to climb down to the bottom of this canyon and take in the perspective from down below!