Washington State House has named the 198 foot Palouse Falls (pronounced: puh-loose) as the state’s Official Waterfall. While it is located in the not so green side of Washington State, eastern Washington is now home to the official state waterfall.
With a landscape some describe as a desert wasteland, and numerous Western Washington radio reporting that it looks more like Mars than Washington State, the region around Palouse Falls We here at Exotic Hikes decided to look into Palouse Falls. We tend to be biased toward the western side of the Cascade Mountains, so looking east to find beauty might seem odd.
However, those thoughts are wrong, as the Palouse is actually quite pretty!
While Snoqualmie Falls is closer to Seattle and the cascading waterfalls of the Olympic National Park may seem prettier, Palouse Falls does show the history and formation of our great state. Without the Palouse, Snake and Columbia Rivers, the State of Washington wouldn’t have become the industrial hub during the 1940’s. While Palouse Falls had little to do with the creation of Hanford, Eastern Washington has played and will continue to play a huge role in the State economy. The rivers in Eastern Washington represent life and thanks to their power, both in hydroelectrically and irrigation, the State of Washington has a pretty stable economy.
Palouse Falls is a great place to spend the day, take some pictures and eat a lunch, all while staring at the sheer power and force that water has on the land. Waterfalls are gorgeous, exciting and even educational, and we feel Palouse Falls is the perfect way to show how great and varied our state is. Most people know Washington for Mount Rainier, the Olympic National Park and Seattle, but few ever see how pretty Eastern Washington can be. Congratulation, Palouse Falls!
GO SEE PALOUSE FALLS
5 Things Facts You Should Know About Palouse Falls
Palouse Falls is a State Park
Palouse Falls is located at Palouse Falls State Park, one of the few Washington State Parks that actually generates money instead of losing it. With a two mile long hiking trail that only gains 293 feet, this is a fantastic, family-friendly hike to a magnificent waterfall. With picnic tables, a paved trail and a secondary trail to a more fantastic viewpoint, visiting Palouse State Park needs to be added to any modern explorer’s list.
Crazy People Kayak Over the Falls
On April 21st, 2009, Tyler Bradt successfully kayaked down Palouse Falls, which at the time was only 186 feet tall. That man is crazy awesome.
Palouse Falls was Almost Dammed
The falls was almost ruined in 1984, thanks to a proposed dam. Had the dam been build, it would have been supplied Franklin County with over one-third of their needed electricity. Lucky for the falls, the region and the state, the dam never became a reality.
Palouse Wasn’t the Original Name of the Falls
“Discovered” in 1841 by the famous Wilkes Expedition, recorded the falls on their maps with the original, native name for Palouse Falls. The original name for Palouse Falls was Aputaput.
Glacial Dams Helped Form Palouse Falls
The cliffs and canyons that make Palouse Falls spectacular were carved out by the giant flood that occurred when the Missoula Ice Dam broke apart in Pleistocene Epoch. The floods shaped the entire region, including the mighty Columbia River, and occured between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago.
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Congrats to our neighbors to the East. You deserve to be recognized for the unique beauty of Eastern Washington. While some might not agree with this choice, we are excited to see that the hard work and determination of the youth of the state helped make Palouse Falls the Official Waterfall of Washington State.
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