17 Fabulous Things to Do in Palouse Falls State Park & Nearby + Tips for Visiting Palouse Falls

History Fangirl is turning seven years old in 2022! To make sure all travel guides are up to date, some posts are getting overhauled, which means you may come across posts that are under construction. Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more details.

During my trip to Washington State, I got to visit a few Washington State parks, but Palouse Falls State Park took my breath away.

Located on the Palouse River, visiting Palouse Falls was one of the major highlights of my trip.

Here are my favorite things to do in Palouse Falls State Park, plus my best tips for visiting Palouse Falls safely.

Read next: The 50 Most Stunning Waterfalls in the US for an Epic Outdoor Getaway

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Best Things to Do at Palouse Falls State Park Heritage Site

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About Palouse Falls

Palouse Falls is a beautiful waterfall in southeastern Washington state located near the small towns of Washtucna and Starbuck.

The upper falls have a drop of twenty feet, but it’s the 200-foot-drop at the lower falls that bring people out from all over the Pacific Northwest to visit Washington’s official state waterfall.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls

Palouse Falls is part of the Palouse River, which joins the Snake River a few miles downstream near Lyons Ferry State Park.

The falls are one of the only active waterfalls that remain from the Ice Age Floods that swept through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana over 13,000 years ago.

The Best Things to Do in Palouse Falls State Park & Nearby

While the park is small, at just 94 acres, there are a ton of things to do at Palouse Falls State Park as well as things to do near the park.

While I rarely feel like I get enough time to explore places on my trips (there are so many things to see and do!), I do think you could easily enjoy a full day here.

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Best Quotes about Oregon
Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Entrance Sign

If you plan to camp, make sure to read my section on camping, since it’s tricky out here.

Campers who stay in the area overnight will be able to explore what there is to do here plus see the best things to do near Palouse Falls.

Explore all of the Viewpoints at Palouse Falls

For those whose main goal is to visit Palouse Falls, you will want to start by experiencing the falls from each of the three Palouse Falls viewpoints.

The lower viewpoint is reachable by a 0.1-mile path and a set of steps from the parking lot.

The second viewpoint is to the right. As you pass between the two viewpoints, you’ll see signs about the falls and the canyon, which we will discuss more below.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Stephanie Craig
You will get a different perspective of the falls from each of the three Palouse Falls Viewpoints

The highest viewpoint is the Fryxell Overlook. From here you have panoramic views of Palouse Falls and Palouse River Canyon.

While you can enjoy a view of the falls and the plunge pool from each of these three points, you should try to experience all three while you are here.

They each offer different perspectives and since they are close together, are all worth a stop, even during a quick visit to Palouse Falls.

Practice Your Waterfall Photography

This was my main activity at Palouse Falls because I knew I wanted to get as many good pictures of the falls to share here with all of you.

Travel photography is one of my favorite hobbies (though now it’s not just a hobby – it’s a crucial part of this blog!).

But I will fully admit I didn’t have the time or equipment I would want to take gorgeous long exposure photos of the waterfall.

Because I was using my iPhone, I have the option to turn this feature on for photos that I already took as live photos (HEIC).

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Long Exposure
Waterfalls are a great place to practice your long-exposure photography – even with an iPhone!

This is a good primer on how to do long exposure waterfall pictures if you want to practice your waterfall photography at Palouse Falls.

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The Best National Parks in Wyoming

You can also use this guide for tips on photographing Palouse Falls.

Some of the information in it goes against the rules of the park, but you can cross-reference it with the information here.

For example, it encourages staying past sunset, but the park closes at sunset unless you get a night photography permit.

Good to Know: Technically, drone photography is prohibited.

You are not allowed to practice drone photography at Palouse Falls State Park (or any Washington State Park) without a drone permit.

You can apply for your drone permit using these instructions and you will need to send a $25 application fee along with your Remote Controlled Aircraft Permit request.

As of this time, permit requests should be submitted at least sixty days before your visit to Palouse Falls.

More Washington State Waterfalls: 13 Things to Know Before Visiting Ludlow Falls

Discover the Beauty of the Palouse River Canyon

Before visiting Palouse Falls, I had done my homework about how beautiful the falls would be and what to expect photography-wise.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Palouse River Canyon
Don’t just look at the falls – the Palouse River Canyon is spectacular!

However, I underestimated how beautiful the basalt canyon walls of the Palouse River Canyon would be, especially when juxtaposed with the verdant green of the grass atop the canyon walls.

This is no small canyon, either, as it is over 1,000 feet deep in places

Learn about the Ice Age Floods

I visited Palouse Falls as part of a day trip from the Tri-Cities focused on learning about the Ice Age Floods that occurred in the area.

We paired Palouse Falls with a visit to Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site in Kennewick and we learned about the coulees and other evidence of the glacial floods from our guide as we drove.

Washington - Kennewick - Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site - Stephanie Craig
We visited several sites where you can learn about the Ice Age Floods – including Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site in Kennewick

Palouse Falls is part of the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, one of the National Park sites in Washington State.

The very simplified version of the story is that at the end of the last Ice Age, an ice dam blocked a section of Idaho and Montana, creating a glacial lake we call Glacial Lake Missoula.

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When the ice age ended, about 13,000 years ago (or potentially 18,000 years ago), the lake was no longer held in place.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Ice Age Floods Interpretive Sign
There are interpretive signs at the park to help you learn about the Ice Age Floods

This created glacial floods that ripped through the Columbia River basin in Washington State and Oregon on their way to the Pacific Ocean.

Everything in the flood path would end up being forever changed, as soil and rocks (as well as animal and plant debris) moved westward from Idaho and Montana to land in Washington and Oregon.

In honor of the falls’ significance in this important Washington story, the state officially renamed the park the Palouse Falls State Park Heritage Site.

Park planners said that the new name “provides a clear understanding for visitors before stepping foot in the park that this is a special place.”

The Ice Age Floods Path is not something I was familiar with before my trip to Washington, but I’m glad I signed up for this private tour!

Washington - Richland - Reach Museum - Hanford Reach Exhibit - Ice Age Flood
A map of the Ice Age Floods at the Reach Museum in Richland

It put the “geologic history” into “History Fangirl.”

Since the tour, I went on was a special event associated with a conference, here are resources to help you learn about the Ice Age Floods during your self-guided Palouse Falls Tour.

First, the park has great interpretive signs that explain a lot of what I learned.

You can also use the National Park Service’s map of the Ice Age flood as well as see the other sites on the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.

Finally, the Ice Age Floods Institute has lots of explainers and pictures to help you understand what you’re seeing at Palouse Falls.

Learn the Palus Tribe’s Palouse Falls Creation Story

The Palus Tribe (sometimes written as the Palouse Tribe) is a group of Indigenous Americans who lived in this area of eastern Washington before European and American settlers came to the area.

They have their own oral history of the region, and you can read how Palouse Falls was created when the Four Giant Brothers went after Big Beaver.

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In this telling, Big Beaver created the canyon as he defended himself, which ultimately created the falls.

As bad as the Giant Brothers were, it was Coyote who forced Big Beaver to return, and it is this that caused him to be lost.

Big Beaver’s Heart is the rock near the confluence of the Palouse River and the Snake River at Lyons Ferry State Park.

See the Coyote’s Puppies…AKA the Castle Rock Formation

I have to admit that the rocks near the falls instantly reminded me of Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland (one of the most beautiful castles in the world), so I was not surprised when I learned that the modern name for these rocks is the Castle Rocks.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Basalt Columns
The Coyote’s Puppies (Castle Rock)

However, after researching the Palus version of the story, I learned that these rocks were originally referred to as the Coyote’s Puppies.

Whatever you call them, they make for a stunning rock formation.

They are a bit far away to capture easily with my iPhone, but if you have a good telephoto lens, you’ll be able to get some marvelous photos of them.

Note that you are not allowed to go near them or go rock climbing on them. This section of the park has been permanently closed due to accidents by previous parkgoers.

Hence why seeing them is the best thing to do, since you really shouldn’t be close to them.

Go on the Palouse Falls Hike

I’ll be honest: I did two waterfall hikes in Washington state during my nearly two-week trip, but this was not one of them.

Why? Because the signage for those wanting to do the hike includes lots of pictures of stick figures going over the edge and multiple notices that hikers hike at their own risk.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Hiking Trail

The trail isn’t a long one. It’s only a 0.7 miles out-and-back trail, but All Trails rates it as a challenging hike.

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Again, sometimes people just fall off the edge.

All Trails even gives the following advice:

The hike is steep, rocky, and technical. Some sections involve rock scrambling and steep drop-offs so it is not for the faint of heart. Make sure to have proper footwear.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Warning Signs
This sign was enough to keep me off the trail

Parts of the state park are now closed for safety, but people are still doing the complete Palouse Falls Hike.

For up-to-date trail conditions, look for the most recent reviews on All Trails.

Good to Know: There’s only one trail here. Sometimes people refer to Palous Falls hiking trails because there used to be access to the bottom of the falls.

This is technically not allowed anymore. However, there are reports of people doing this section since it was closed, so I don’t know if there’s good signage to keep people out.

If you do end up accidentally going down to the falls, then the entire hike ends up being about three miles.

Eat a Delicious Picnic

This was one of my favorite things to do at Palouse Falls!

There are lots of good picnicking spots here, so you should be able to get a table unless the park is very crowded.

Washington - Palouse Falls State Park - Picnic near Palouse Falls

The picnic area also has braziers so you can cook a full meal here if you want!

Most are unsheltered picnic tables, but there is one picnic shelter here.

We brought box lunches with sandwiches, cookies, chips, and a drink, but if you’re heading to Palouse Falls via Pasco and this is your first time in the area, you might want to buy your lunch at Pasco’s Country Mercantile.

Washington - Palouse Falls State Park - Picnic near Palouse Falls - Stephanie Craig
I will document anything for you guys, lol

Good to Know: One tip the park wants people to know is to bring plenty of water and your own drinks out here with you.

We were there in beautiful spring conditions, but summer can get hot and there is not much shade to speak of.

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Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Wildlife

Palouse Falls is a beloved spot for birding and spotting wildlife.

We saw several marmots before we even got off the bus, and one watched us eat our entire picnic lunch!

As for bird lovers, you can check out the up-to-date bird sightings on eBird.

Notable birds seen recently include Red-tailed Hawks and Canadian Geese. However, I’m not a bird expert, so check the list if you know your stuff.

Washington - Palouse Falls State Park - Marmot

There are some dangerous animals to be on the lookout for.

Steer clear of any cougars, coyotes, or rattlesnakes you happen to see. All have been spotted from the trails recently.

It’s unlikely you’d run into these in the parking lot, but always keep your eyes and ears open whenever you’re out in nature.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Safety Sign
Did you catch the last warning about the rattlesnakes?

Good to Know: If someone in your group gets a rattlesnake bite, join the Facebook Group National Snakebite Support.

They can help you communicate your needs with the local hospital since not all healthcare facilities are up-to-date on snakebite protocols.

Take a Palouse Falls State Park Sign Selfie

Our bus dropped us off in the parking lot, but I do what I always try to do at state and national parks and walked back to get an entrance sign selfie.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Entrance Sign - Stephanie Craig
Kitschy? Yes. Fun? Yes!

I know these are kitschy, but I love them! They only take a few minutes and make going through my park photos even more fun.

The entrance sign is located on Palouse Falls Road.

Head Nearby to Lyons Ferry State Park

If you’re looking for things to do near Palouse Falls State Park, the rest of this list highlights the best activities in the area.

We paired our trip to Palouse Falls with a stop at Lyons Ferry State Park, where we saw Canadian geese playing on the park lawn, appreciated the majesty of the butte rising above the shore, and were wowed by the Lyons Ferry Bridge, which crosses the Snake River at its confluence with the Palouse.

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Washington - Washtucna - Lyons Ferry State Park - Snake River - Stephanie Craig
Lyons Ferry State Park is one of the best things to do near Palouse Falls!

The park is named after the Lyons Ferry that operated here from the 1860s through the 1960s.

Even though the bridge has replaced the ferry, the bridge kept the Lyons Ferry name!

For those who want to kayak the Palouse River, this is the best place to start.

The river forms a pool here which is good for paddling. You can explore the extensive shoreline, while avid paddlers can go all the way to the Starbuck / Lyons Ferry Marina KOA.

I can’t find much information about kayaking the Palouse River Canyon except for this decades-old account, but it does mention leaving from Lyons Ferry State Park.

Washington - Washtucna - Lyons Ferry State Park
Geese greeting us as we entered Lyons Ferry

Check with local kayaking companies before attempting anything, and do not try to get close to the falls as the water becomes very dangerous.

Keep Chasing Waterfalls at Little Palouse Falls

Located in Franklin County, Little Palouse Falls is a small waterfall that is different than the Upper Palouse Falls. Rather it’s a separate waterfall that is seven miles upriver from Palouse Falls, closer to Washtucna.

There is another waterfall that’s near Little Palouse Falls called Gildersleeve Falls.

We did not visit either of these, but you can work on a full Washington waterfall itinerary if you piece together all three falls!

Play “I Spy” with the Fish at Little Goose Lock and Dam

I love visiting dams, and the Little Goose Dam is pretty cool! It crosses the Snake River, and has a visitor center, recreation amenities, and fish viewing rooms!

You can camp here in primitive camping sites (including RV camping), use the picnic tables, hike, and fish.

Visit the US Army Corps of Engineers for more information about planning your visit to the Little Goose Lock and Dam.

Make Like a Pontist and Admire the Snake River Bridges

This part of Washington has some beautiful and historic bridges to admire! I’ve already mentioned the Lyons Ferry Bridge, but there’s also the Joso High Bridge and the Snake River Railroad Bridge.

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Washington - Washtucna - Lyons Ferry State Park - Lyons Ferry Bridge
The Lyons Ferry Bridge is truly something special

If you love photographing bridges, especially older ones, all three of these make great subjects and are located close to Lyons Ferry State Park.

We saw all three during our visit, but I think Lyons Ferry Bridge was my favorite.

Dig Even Deeper into Ice Age Flood History at Dry Falls

Dry Falls is not another waterfall – but it used to be!

Located two and a half hours from Palouse Falls, these sites make a good day trip for those who are prepared to spend some time driving between the two.

The 3.5-mile cataract is another important stop on the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.

Plan your trip to Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park via the Dry Falls Visitors Center.

Get Closer to Nature by Camping Near Palouse Falls

There is no camping at Palouse Falls State Park. The park is currently just a day-use park.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t camp nearby!

This would allow you to be at the park first thing in the morning, or stay until the park closes and night. It would also mean you could visit the park multiple days in a row.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - No Camping Sign
The campsites about Palouse Falls State Park are closed, but you can camp nearby at the Lyons Ferry KOA.

I already mentioned that Little Goose Dam has campsites available.

There are also campsites available at the Lyons Ferry Marina KOA.

These campsites have options for full hook-up RV sites, tent spaces for tent camping, and cabins.

Sites have a picnic table and most also have a fire pit.

They even have a Conestoga Covered Wagon you can rent if you want to feel close to nature but don’t want to set up a tent site.

You can make reservations for campsites on their website.

Make a More Ambitious Itinerary and Tackle the Entire Palouse Scenic Byway

Because of the Ice Age Floods, the topography of Eastern Washington is beautiful and complex. If you’d like to see more of it, you can head out on the Palouse Scenic Byway.

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Most of the region known as the Palouse is not near Palouse Falls State Park, so be prepared to spend some time on the road as you travel from place to place.

Highlights of the Palouse Scenic Byway include the towns of Pullman and Colfax as well as many off-the-beaten-path stops in Whitman County.

You can see sample itineraries here.

Things to Know Before Visiting Palouse Falls + Tips

Use these Palouse Falls tips to make planning a trip to Palouse Falls a breeze!

Palouse Falls versus the Palouse

Palouse Falls is not really in the region of Washington known as “The Palouse.” This is located further east near the Idaho Border.

While the Palouse Scenic Byway includes the falls, you’ll be forgiven for being confused. You are not visiting the Palouse if you only visit Palouse Falls.

Yeah, I don’t get it either.

How to Get to Palouse Falls State Park

The best (and only) way to get to Palouse Falls State Park is to drive or hire a driver. The park is easy to find and well-marked on Google Maps:

Address: Palouse Falls Rd, LaCrosse, WA 99143

Washington - Kennewick - Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site - Stephanie Craig - Driving from Richland to Pasco
I went on a group tour, but, if you don’t have a large group to organize a big bus, the typical way to go is by car. Photo by Rob Taylor.

Drive Times from Nearby Towns and Cities:

From Starbuck: 22 min

From Washtucna: 24 min

From Walla Walla: 1 hr and 5 min

From Kennewick: 1 hr and 18 min

From Pasco: 1 hr and 13 min

From Richland: 1 hr and 22 min

From Spokane: 1 hr and 49 min

From Seattle: 4 hrs

Good to Know: If you would prefer to have a guided tour prepared for you, complete with airport pickup and a driver, we worked with Robin from Inquisitours for our time on the Olympic Peninsula.

Her company is based in nearby Walla Walla and specializes in customized, small group tours of the Pacific Northwest.

I can highly recommend her team if you want to put something together that’s unique for your group!

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Create a Custom Pacific Northwest Itinerary with Inquisitours

Park Entry Fees

You can use the automated pay station to buy a $10 one-day pass or a $30 annual Washington State Parks Discover Pass.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Pay Station
You can pay your $10 entry fee at the pay station or buy an annual Discover Pass

Parking

There is a parking lot that is near the short walk to the waterfall.

On the weekends during the high season, you can expect the parking area to fill up quickly. When this happens, cars end up lining up outside the park to get in and find a space.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Bike on SUV in parking lot
We didn’t see many people on a Tuesday morning in April, but the parking lot can fill up during the high season and on weekends!

Park Amenities

I mentioned the picnic areas and waterfall viewpoints already, but there are also clean restrooms that feature pit toilets.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Restrooms
The restrooms are ADA-Compliant and accessible

These provide hand sanitizer, but no handwashing stations with running water.

Drinking water is available from April through October.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Pit Toilet
You’ll find pit toilets with hand sanitizer

Visiting Palouse Falls State Park with Kids, Toddlers, and Babies

I visited the park with a group of adults, but I’ve done enough national and state parks with a toddler to get an idea of what the pros and cons are.

This would be a great place to visit with kids, even babies and toddlers if you don’t plan on doing the hike.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Fence
If I was here with my son, I’d be happy about the fences and stick to this side of the waterfall. But you still need to be careful!

Families can enjoy the picnic areas and the viewpoints since they have fencing in place for safety. Just keep in mind that you don’t want to be leaning on the fencing or have kids climbing over it!

There’s no fence on the side of the cliffs for the hike, so I would avoid taking children there.

Visiting Palouse Falls State Park with Dogs

You can bring leashed dogs here. Do not let them go off-leash and avoid taking them past the fenced areas.

I have read reports that there are grass awns, which can be fatal for dogs.

Between the grass awns and the potential for rattlesnake encounters, I’d probably keep my dog leashed and walking around the parking lot to stretch as opposed to on the trail.

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When is the Best Time to Visit Palouse Falls

Something I didn’t realize before visiting this part of Washington State is that it’s a dry desert! Yes, tumbleweeds and all!

The falls are their heaviest from April through July, but the further you get into summer, the higher the desert heat gets!

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Stephanie Craig
The weather was lovely in mid-April, but I was still happy to have a jacket!

We visited in mid-April and the weather was windy but beautiful, and the weekday afternoon crowds were very small!

What to Wear to Visit Palouse Falls

I wore a dress because I wasn’t going to do the hike, and I had an event to go to once we got back to Kennewick.

I was happy to have my packable down jacket with me. It’s been to seventeen national parks and tons of state parks in the past year.

I just keep it in my daypack so that I can always add layers when parks are windy or cold.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Stephanie Craig

If you are planning to do the hike, make sure you bring good shoes that won’t slip!

However, if you will only be getting out to see Palouse Falls, eat a picnic, and enjoy the marmots, you don’t have to worry about your wardrobe beyond having some extra layers handy!

Accessibility at Palouse Falls State Park

The park’s website lists it as ADA-Compliant with the following ADA amenities:

  • 0.1-mile walking path
  • Restroom
  • Viewpoints
  • Picnic area
Washington - Palouse Falls State Park - Picnic near Palouse Falls

Data & Connectivity at Palouse Falls State Park

There is no data or phone service available at the park. Download the area in your Google Maps app before you lose signal on your way to the park.

Frequently Asked Questions about Palouse Falls State Park

Here are the questions people ask the most about the park and the waterfall.

What town is near Palouse Falls?

The park is technically listed as being located in LaCrosse, Washington.

Starbuck and Washtucna are the two nearest towns.

How long is the Palouse Falls hike?

The Palouse Falls hike is 0.7 miles out-and-back, or 3 miles if you go to the base of the falls (which is prohibited).

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Can You Go on a Guided Tour of Palouse Falls State Park?

I haven’t found any companies that run regular Palouse Falls tours, but you can reach out to Robin from Inquisitours to create a private Palouse Falls tours

How much does it cost to go to Palouse Falls?

The entrance fees at Palouse Falls State Park are $10 for the day or you can buy a $30 annual pass.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Discover Pass Fee Area Sign

Can you see Palouse Falls without hiking?

Yes, you can see Palouse Falls without hiking via a 0.1-mile walk down a path with some steps.

Is Palouse Falls worth the drive?

I think so! This waterfall reminded me of Iceland or Ireland more than anywhere else I’ve seen in the US!

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls
Doesn’t this look like Iceland?

What is the height of Palouse Falls?

While the height varies based on water flow, Palouse Falls is about 200 feet tall.

What are the best times to visit Palouse Falls?

The best time to visit Palouse Falls is from April through July, though it gets hot in July.

Is Palouse Falls a good place to camp?

No, camping at Palouse Falls is not allowed. They may open their campsites up again in the future.

What time does the last shuttle bus leave?

There are no public shuttles or buses to Palouse Falls State Park.

Can you kayak over Palouse Falls?

No, do not try to kayak over Palouse Falls.

Only three people have done it successfully: Tyler Brandt kayaked the falls in 2009, and Knox Hammock and James Shuizu completed the feat in 2019. /End of List

So no, unless you are a professional, seasoned kayaker who has done lots of smaller waterfall runs, do not kayak over Palouse Falls.

Washington - LaCrosse - Palouse Falls State Park - Palouse Falls - Stephanie Craig
This waterfall is better for selfies than kayaking over. Just saying.

Can you kayak the Palouse River at Palouse Falls State Park?

Yes, you can kayak the Palouse River.

Put in at Lyons Ferry State Park and paddle up the Palouse River Canyon into Palouse Falls State Park.

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Stay away from the plunge pool and don’t attempt this at all if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Washington State Resources

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Things to Know Before You Hike Ludlow Falls

17 Fabulous Things to Do in Palouse Falls State Park & Nearby + Tips for Visiting Palouse Falls

5 Things to Bring to Palouse Falls State Park

A Packable Down Jacket – everyone in our family has one. They’re light and easy to keep in your backpack or car, but they’re warm enough to make a huge difference if the weather turns cold.

I have this women’s version. I loved having it in Washington, even in late April. My husband has this men’s version. Our son just outgrew this child’s version.

El Salvador - Juayua - Stephanie Backpack
This backpack has survived seventeen national parks and trips to Mexico and El Salvador with no sign of stopping anytime soon!

A Lightweight but Durable Backpack – My Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Daypack was a steal for the price. It’s survived 17 national parks as well as trips to Mexico and El Salvador!

It won’t last forever, but it has more than proved its worth so far.

See the Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Daypack on Amazon

A Pair of Binoculars for parks where I’m going to be looking for wildlife. I use these binoculars, and my husband has a separate pair.

A Portable Charging Bank in case my phone dies. Having a portable charger for your phone is crucial.

This is a safety issue as my offline maps may be the only way to navigate in the park where there’s no cell phone data available, as well as the convenience of being able to use my cell phone camera.

I relied on this heavily during my time in Washington, as cell phone coverage at Palouse Falls and on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula was terrible. We lost signal for long periods.

A Basic First Aid Kit to handle minor issues while you are out. Don’t let a hot spot on your foot turn into a blister, or leave a small cut open to the elements.

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I keep a small first aid kit in my backpack at all times when we are on the road.

Other items to consider: a pocket knife, a water bottle with a filter, and a Washington State guidebook.

Where to Stay

I visited Palouse Falls State Park from Kennewick.

I stayed at the Hampton Inn by Hilton Kennewick at Southridge. If you are planning on spending time in the Tri-Cities, I highly recommend it!

Washington - Kennewick - Hampton Inn - Mirror Selfie - Stephanie Craig

The hotel was super comfy, bright, and clean. There were lots of little conveniences, like a hotel store, that made my time here easy.

Washington - Kennewick - Hampton Inn

I didn’t realize the Hampton Inn had gotten so nice, so I was very satisfied staying here while I enjoyed the Tri-Cities. I will gladly stay there again on my next visit to the area.

Washington - Kennewick - Hampton Inn - Suitcase

Book your stay at the Hampton Inn by Hilton Kennewick at Southridge!

If you stay in the Tri-Cities, you are about eighty minutes away from Palouse Falls.

If you want to stay closer but don’t want to camp, the closest hotels to Palouse Falls State Park are in Dayton, Washington, which is about 45 minutes away.

You have two choices, both of which have great reviews:

The Weinhard Hotel is a pet-friendly, historic, boutique hotel in downtown Dayton. This is the more upscale option of the two.

It has romantic flourishes and is popular with couples. Amenities include a backyard fire pit, four-poster beds, and Victorian touches throughout.

Book your stay at the Weinhard Hotel!

If you want a more traditional hotel, the Best Western Plus Dayton is praised for being comfortable and clean with updated touches.

Book your stay at the Best Western Plus Dayton!

Before You Visit Washington – Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

Whenever I go on a trip, I always make sure to get travel insurance!

The company World Nomads is the travel insurance company I always look to first, and I happily recommend them!

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I always make sure to get travel insurance whenever I’m going to be over one hundred miles from home, in large cities where tourists can be the target of pickpockets, and anytime I’ll be doing outdoor adventure or beach activities.

It makes my life easier knowing if something should happen, I’ll be able to take care of it!

Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.

Pin this Guide to Visiting Palouse Falls for Your Own Palouse Falls State Park Adventure!

Best Things to Do at Palouse Falls State Park Heritage Site

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