Washington Nature, Waterfalls March 13, 2016
The Most Massive Waterfall In The World Was Almost Right Here In Washington
Dry Falls is one of the most incredible natural wonders here in Washington. Formed by the Ice Age Floods, it was once thought to be the greatest known waterfall that ever existed. You can still explore around its remaining sheer cliff in central Washington at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park.
The falls were formed after ice dams collapsed during the last Ice Age, causing Lake Missoula to flood into our state. The water flowed into the ice-dammed Columbia River, and was then channeled down the Grand Coulee and over this steep, 400-foot cliff.
At five times the width of Niagara Falls, and more than twice its height, Dry Falls had been the largest waterfall on Earth. Eventually, though, the ice that dammed the Columbia melted away, which caused the river to return to its normal course and left the falls completely dry.
This narrow basalt formation is known as Umatilla Rock. It runs down the middle of the coulee for over a mile, dividing it nearly in half. Around the monolith you can take a moderate, 2.6-mile loop to see all of its unique sides.
This lookout by the visitor's center offers some of the most breathtaking views. The platform is supported by a natural basalt pillar, and makes for a perfect spot to walk out and take photos.
Aside from the former waterfall, there is much more to see and do in the surrounding park. They also offer a wonderful 9-hole golf course, as well as fishing and camping opportunities.
Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is located on Route 17, near the town of Coulee City. Admission is free, although you'll need a Discover Pass for parking.
It's even more incredible to see in person. Check out this short aerial footage:
Isn’t this landscape in Washington amazing? Have you been to Dry Falls before?