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    Palouse Falls: how to visit Washington State's towering waterfalls

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    Joel Fulleda

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    When organizing a fly and drive in the United States, you always try to enter the most popular and well-known destinations, especially if this is your first time traveling to the USA. Very often, however, during an on the road it happens to come across hidden pearls (both natural and not) which, also due to an unfortunate position, do not get the attention they deserve. This is the case with the Palouse Falls of the state of Washington that offer a spectacular and one-of-a-kind panorama. Let's find out more about this unknown North West natural wonder.


    • Where they are, how to get there and useful information
    • To see
    • Accomodation

    Where they are, how to get there and useful information

    As mentioned, the Palouse Falls are located in the state of Washington, more precisely in its south-eastern part along the border between the counties of Franklin and Whitman just before the Palouse River forms a confluence with the Snake River. They are part of the Palouse Falls State Park.

    The address is Palouse Falls Rd, LaCrosse, WA 99143. From Seattle it will take about 4 hours by car, while from Portland 4 and a half hours, it therefore becomes essential, if you want to visit them, to choose an intermediate stop to disconnect a bit from the guide or a nearby hotel (which I will suggest later), to rest without adding additional time to the guide. It is therefore an attraction a bit hidden and off the beaten path but, if you have some time available, it is definitely worth going to discover it. If you travel during the winter and autumn months, check the conditions of the roads before organizing your excursion to avoid any unpleasant situations.

    The closest airport (about an hour and twenty by car) is the Tri-Cities Airport which is located, as you can guess from the name, between the three cities of Pasco, Kennewich and Richland and is connected, among others, with the cities of Seattle and San Francisco. This makes it a useful base if you want to organize an internal flight and then rent a car. In this case, I would like to point out our advice dedicated to:

    • How to find a low cost flight to the USA
    • Things to know about renting a car for a trip to the United States

    In order to visit the park it is necessary to have a Discover Pass Washington state, annual ($ 30) or daily ($ 10), which can also be purchased online on the official website. Once you reach the Palouse Falls State Park parking lot, you will need to leave your pass visible inside the car.

    To see

    Don't expect massive visitor centers and great services (chances are you won't meet any rangers and there is also no cellphone network). The only reason why it is worth coming here is to visit and photograph the imposing ones Palouse Falls inserted in an original and fascinating scenario.

    The park offers the opportunity to take two short trails that will allow you to see and photograph the falls from different points of view.

    • the first, the one located a few steps from the parking lot, will allow you to observe the Palouse Falls from above
    • the second path will take you to a viewpoint located in front of the falls.

    If you are wondering if it is also possible to go down inside the canyon and get to the level of the falls, unfortunately the answer is officially no. There is actually an unrecognized path but you can only undertake it at your own risk, since in recent years there have been many accidents along this trail (there are no protections). For this you will notice warnings that advise against going beyond the marked paths considering the dangers to which you can expose yourself together with the fact of being in a fairly remote area.

    If you have the opportunity, and you are a photographer who aims to take the perfect shot, the best time to visit the park is at sunset when the light that changes along the course of the canyon certainly creates a fascinating effect. However, bear in mind that you will need to have somewhere to sleep nearby to avoid driving hours and hours into the night.


    The park offers only one Spartan camping with few places available and, if you want a hotel or a motel, you will have to head to the nearby towns. As mentioned, probably the most comfortable solution is to sleep near the Tri-Cities Airport between the three cities of Pasco, Kennewich and Richland where you will find a wide choice of options. Among the many I point out the Hampton Inn & Suites Pasco and the SpringHill Suites by Marriott. They are both part of popular hotel chains (with all the benefits this can provide you with), offer rooms large enough by American standards, and both have the option of using the indoor pool and fitness center.

    Hampton Inn
    SpringHill Suites

    For all other accommodations in the area you can click on the button below:

    All accommodations available in the area

    Other solutions (a little more comfortable due to the proximity but not for the possibility of choice) could be the town of Walla Walla (just over an hour's drive) e Dayton (about fifty minutes away).

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