Designated as Washington State’s official waterfall in 2014, thanks to a petition made by local elementary school students, Palouse Falls is a 200 ft waterfall that drops into a churning bowl, before flowing along a massive columnar basalt gorge that was formed during the Missoula Floods of the last great Ice Age. The landscape of golden plains contrasts strongly with the mossy walls and river of the gorge, making it a prime location for landscape photography or painters. The unique geology and historic flood path, both of which are attributed to the last ice age, provide students, geology fans, and history buffs with an incredible chance to learn about how part of the state was formed, and the generational effects that the river and the gorge have had on people in the area.
Palouse Falls State Park, which contains the falls, provides an excellent spot for picnics, wildlife viewing, and interpretation of the area. It is the launching point of many hikes around and into the gorge, all of which vary in difficulty, making it an excellent place for families or more experienced hikers. It is definitely one of the top natural wonders of Washington, and worth a stop if you are traveling in the area.