Palouse Falls Facts
- Palouse Falls serves as the name of a rather remote waterfall on the Palouse River. It sits 4 mi (6.4 km) upstream from where the river joins the Snake River.
- As a result of its beauty, the falls constitute the central feature of the Palouse Falls State Park.
- On February 12, 2014, the Washington House of Representatives passed a bill unanimously making this stunning site the official state waterfall in Washington.
- The proposal for the bill actually began when a group of elementary school students in a nearby town lobbied the state legislature.
Palouse Falls Characteristics and Origins
The breathtaking Palouse Falls also represents a two-tiered waterfall. The first drop is small, with the upper falls measuring only 18 ft (5.9 m).
The second drop lies approximately 1,000 ft (305 m) from the upper falls. The lower falls portion is about 180 ft (55 m).
In addition, both sections of the falls lie within a canyon which measures roughly 337 ft (115 m) in depth and is surrounded by vast scablands.
This area remains highly characterized by interconnected flood-created coulees, cataracts, plunge pools, potholes, rock benches, buttes, and pinnacles.
The Missoula Floods which swept through the region repeatedly during the Pleistocene Epoch formed both the canyon and falls.
Palouse Falls Economic and Recreational History
In 1984, the government also proposed to construct a 98 ft (30 m) high dam upstream from Palouse falls. The idea was to provide less expensive hydroelectricity for the region.
Yet, a significant majority of local residents voted against the construction as they preferred to retain the higher electric rates in return for preserving the falls.
The areas surrounding the falls serves as a popular recreational spot, most especially for kayaking.