Camping at Palouse Falls
A few weekends ago, 4 friends and I spent 4+ hours in a cramped car full of camping gear and food on the road to Palouse Falls State Park. With 3 California natives on the trip and only 1 solitary Washingtonian (who hadn't been there either) we were eager to visit a new spot in our state. Truth be told, it's really easy to stick to western Washington for mini road trips and weekend travels. We're really spoiled with our access to islands, the Puget Sound and mountain ranges.
After what seemed like forever in a car, driving highway 90 in the middle of nowhere Washington, we arrived at Palouse Falls and pitched our tents in preparation for the night before continuing on our way to Walla Walla for cheese eating & wine tasting. With only 10 campsites at the park, secured on a first come first serve basis, we were lucky to score one!
Back from Walla Walla that evening, we explored the area, snapping pictures and being mesmerized by the size and sound of the behemoth waterfall. With plans to wake up for sunrise, we snuggled up for the night and set our alarms. With no cell reception and not being 100% sure at the time of sunrise, we ended up waking up at 5am and waiting a solid hour before the sun finally peaked over the magnificent basalt cliffs. With the sun up, a few cups of coffee and breakfast in our bellies, we set off to explore the trails around the falls.
Palouse Falls Tips:
- Bring your Discover Pass or bring cash to pay a daily parking fee.
- Camp if you can so you're present for the sunrise. It's so worth it.
- Look for yellow bellied marmots in the AM. They're the most adorable little creatures!
- There is fresh water and bathrooms at the campsites (remember first come first serve campsites- payable by cash or check).
- Take the "social trail" (user created) to get above and below the waterfall. (The State Park encourages you not to use it but does not stop anyone from going on it. Hikers assume all risk associated with travel beyond the warning signs. *The park is currently developing a trail plan.) Have you gone on your kickoff camping trip this year? Where are your weekend travels taking you?