"Palouse Falls State Park" Palouse Falls State Park by mcblacktiger

Palouse Falls State Park Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 38 photos

The waterfall in the middle of the desert.

When I was a teenager we flew over this waterfall in a Cessena and after 20 something years I finally made the time to go look at it. Talk about putting something off !!!!

Unlike most waterfalls, this one was not created by the river.....

Approximatly 12,000 years ago during the last ice age an ice dam was created that blocked the Clark Fork river(northern Idaho & Montana) which created "Lake Missoula" which was the size of lake Erie and Ontario combined and was approximatly 2000 ft.(600m) deep. It is belived that when the dam colapsed, because of the water preassure, the entire lake drained out within a week, stripped away all of the topsoil, and created giant channels batween the basalt(ancient lava rock) formations that you see here. It is believed that this cycle happened several times over about a 1000 year period. Ultimatly much of the water and topsoil ended up in the Wilammete Valley of Oregon or drained out into the Pacific Ocean.

Imagine facing a 400-600 ft.(130-180m) wall of water traveling around 50-60(80-95km) miles an hour that streched across the horizon !!!!

J Harlen Bretz was the author of the "lake Missoula" and "Channeled Scablands" theory and the fight that ensued to prove his theory is considered one of the greatest fights ever in the field of geology that lasted for decades and is an interesting story in itself and was the subject of a PBS special program.

Palouse Falls is a state park that has spots available for RV's and tents. It also has a camp host during the summer. There is also water and toilets.

For more deailed info about the flood: www.glaciallakemissoula.org

For more about J Harlen Bretz and the flood: www.detectingdesign.com/harlenbretz.html

****** Amazingly on April 21 2009, Tyler Bradt of Stevensville Montana rode his kayak over the falls to reclaim the current world record for "waterfall bagging" !!!! Waterfall bagging is when a kayaker rides over a free falling waterfall and survives to tell about it. He stated in an interview with the Spokesman Review(May 1st 2009 ed.) that he thinks he was under water for about 6 seconds after impact and had nothing more than the wind knocked out of him. He also stated that he is a professional kayaker, trains regularly for water bagging and had a full safety crew wating at the bottom of the falls in case something went wrong. So for all of you aspiring brain surgeons that think you too can do it, after five or fifteen beers, you may want to think about it first before attempting it. *****

Looking Down Stream

This waterfall and canyon is much larger and more impressive that it looks in most pictures. The waterfall is 198 ft.(60m) and the canyon is approximatly 300ft.(95m) deep.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very impressive water fall...
  • Cons:... in the middle of nowhere.
  • In a nutshell:A nice day trip or place to camp out.
  • Last visit to Palouse Falls State Park: Feb 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (2)

Comments (2)

  • May 20, 2011 at 4:05 AM

    Rattlesnakes often times lose their rattles for various reasons and baby rattlers often have yet to develop buttons (also are more dangerous than full grown because they cannot control the amount of venom they realease).

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2008 at 10:44 PM

    Bryan, good work with this page. I'm glad to see that someone else is enjoying this excellent park.


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