Palouse Falls State Park - Washington

US National Parks and Monuments Travel Guide:

Park Overview

Palouse Falls State Park is a 105-acre camping park with a unique geology and history. The park offers a dramatic view of one of the state's most beautiful waterfalls. Palouse Falls drops from a height of 198 feet with high volumes of water flow in spring and early summer.


The park was dedicated June 3, 1951. For many years the falls were called "Aput Aput," meaning "falling water." Later, the name was changed to commemorate the Palouse Indian culture.

According to a story of the Palouse tribe, the Palouse River once flowed smoothly into the Snake. But four giant brothers, in pursuit of a mythic creature called "Big Beaver," speared the great creature five times. Each time Big Beaver was wounded, he gouged the canyon walls, causing the river to bend and change. The fifth time he was speared, he fought the brothers valiantly and tore out a huge canyon. The river tumbled over a cliff at this point to become Palouse Falls. The jagged canyon walls show the deep marks of Big Beaver's claws.

Park Features

This park features a 198-foot-high waterfall which is particularly spectacular in spring and early summer. A quarter-mile ADA-accessible hiking trail overlooks this natural wonder. The park has an observation shelter and historical displays.

Interpretive opportunities

There are interpretive panels throughout the park about the Ice Age Floods and the creation of the canyon.

Physical Features

Created by the Lake Missoula floods, Palouse Falls is the only major waterfall left along the glacial flood path of 15,000 years ago.


LaCrosse, WA 99143


Located 23 miles southeast of Washtucna, Wash. in Franklin County.

From SR 261

From State Route 261 Washtucna: Drive southwest 5.8 miles to the State Route 261/260 junction, and turn left at the grain elevator. Follow State Route 261 southeast for 8.7 miles to Palouse Falls Road. Turn left, and follow the road to the end (approximately 2.5 miles).

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