Palouse Falls

Make your trip to Palouse Falls unforgettable

Whether you live near Palouse Falls or you're visiting from afar, you're in for a breathtaking view of Washington's state waterfall.

Our rangers want you to know that, despite its popularity, Palouse Falls State Park offers an off-the-beaten-path experience. Check out our 10 tips to make your trip safe and memorable.

A mother and father hold a small child standing in front of Palouse Falls viewpoint behind a fence
This family came prepared with proper shoes, extra water and more!

Ten tips for a great day at Palouse Falls

  1. Bring your own water. At times there is no water available in the park. Things can get awfully toasty, and hydration is key to having a successful day.
  2. Bring clothes for all weather. It's hot, then it's cold! Temperatures can drop into the single digits in winter and soar over 100*F in summer. Weather can also change quickly, and proper clothes and shoes are essential. We recommend tennis shoes or hiking boots. Flip flops and crocs won't cut it. (Think rattlesnakes…yikes!)
  3. Keep your dog on a leash. Just like us, pups like to explore! But so do the natural inhabitants of the park, like rattlesnakes and raptors. Birds of prey have been known to snatch dogs. Keep your furry adventurer close on a leash and help keep the area gorgeous and clean by picking up after your pooch!
  4. Expect to be out of cell range. The nearest cell phone service is two miles from the park. There is no landline at Palouse Falls, so phoning a friend may not be a possibility during your trip.
  5. Expect to be far from services. That includes everything from food and gas to emergency services. The nearest hospital is over 60 minutes away and a rescuer arrival takes several hours. Plan ahead, bring what you need and recreate responsibly.
  6. Visit at off-peak hours. Everyone loves the views of the waterfall! But if you don't want to battle a potential crowd, try visiting mid-week, early morning or after 5 p.m. Parking and viewing space is limited.
  7. Stay in park-approved areas. Palouse Falls is a viewing experience, not a hiking or swimming destination. Enjoy the sights and sounds and save your other adventures for a different park.
  8. Do not swim at Palouse Falls. The pool below the falls can easily overpower swimmers and bathers and is closed to the public. Lyons Ferry State Park is just five miles away and has great swimming and paddling!
  9. Understand nature‘s power. Respect her authoriteh! This area has drop-offs that are 300 feet tall. These, as well as force of the water at the falls, have caused fatalities. Respect the land and stay in designated spaces. We promise you'll still get an epic view!
  10. Respect native lands. The falls and surrounding area are culturally significant to the Native American tribes who have lived here for millennia. Please tread lightly and treat the land with awe and wonder it deserves.
Two childrens face away admiring the view from Steptoe Butte
Two friends view the Palouse Hills from Steptoe Butte State Park.

Bonus tip: Make it a bigger trip

If you're coming from far away, make it a road trip! Ride bikes on the Columbia Plateau Trail. Camp or sleep in a teepee at Fields Spring or Lewis and Clark Trail State Park. Swim, paddle or boat at Lyons Ferry. Take in the rolling Palouse Hills from the top of Steptoe Butte.

You could spend a week in southeastern Washington and still leave wanting more!

A view of the Touchet River at Lewis and Falls Trail State Park
Parting shot: End your days of southeastern Washington tourism in a riverside campsite at Lewis and Clark Trail State Park.

Originally published April 06, 2022

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