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Visiting Palouse Falls State Park in Winter | What You Need to Know!

Palouse Falls in winter is a truly unique experience! It's utterly beautiful and unlike anywhere else in Washington!

Did you know you can visit Palouse Falls throughout the year? Just because the rains and snow have come to the Pacific Northwest doesn't mean that this Washington state park should fall off your "to visit" list.

It's one of the best waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest and a gorgeous winter destination. In the summer, you'll be forced to contend with long waits to get into the park and very limited parking. Consider carefully visiting Palouse Falls in the winter when the crowds are very much diminished.

Palouse Falls State Park in Winter

Important: The roads to get to Palouse Falls in the winter are not good. They can be pretty dangerous at times, so make sure you do your research and keep an eye on the forecast. Only those with 4WD cars should attempt the drive, and even then, only if you have experience driving on snowy and icy roads.

Palouse Falls Surrounded by Green
Palouse Falls with its frozen pool surrounded by green

Can You Visit Palouse Falls in Winter?

Absolutely! You can visit Palouse Falls in winter if you want a really interesting experience at the state park. If you've been in the summer already, we highly recommend taking the time to revisit in the winter. The landscape is totally different. It feels like another state park altogether!

Where is Palouse Falls?

Address: Palouse Falls State Park, Palouse Falls Rd, LaCrosse, WA 99143, USA

Palouse Falls is in LaCrosse, near Washtucna (I know, another really unique Washington city name!) It's far from any major population centers, something that I think really adds to its charm and allure.

Did you know? Palouse Falls is Washington's official waterfall!

The state park is a compact 105 acres and features the stunning Palouse Falls as its main attraction.

Palouse Falls Map

Use the map below to navigate to Palouse Falls State Park:

Visiting Palouse Falls in Winter

Palouse Falls is open throughout the year. Despite this, the vast majority of people choose to visit the falls in the spring, fall, and summer. The latter is certainly the most popular season.

The park is open from 8 A.M. to dusk in the winter.

But, if you want a unique Washington adventure, you can make the drive in the winter and see this stunning waterfall and its severe canyon walls covered in ice and snow.

Snowy Palouse Falls
Snowy Palouse Falls in Winter

The falls are surrounded by ice-covered walls that drop into massive icicles. Below the falls is a semi-frozen pool with cracked ice around the plunge.

Palouse Falls in Winter
Palouse Falls in winter

Palouse Falls Trail

To get to Palouse Falls, you'll start at the parking lot (where you'll also find a vault toilet and space for about 30 cars) and walk along a very obvious trail starting from the southeast side of the parking lot. To the right, you'll see a few picnic tables, and to your left, the main view of Palouse Falls.

In winter, when the temps get really cold, the drinking water in the park is turned off.

Palouse Falls in the shade
Palouse Falls in the shade during winter

Spend as long as you want (or as long as you can stand it!) in the cold before heading back to the parking lot and carefully navigating the road back the same way you came.

Make sure to admire the towering canyon walls as well as the waterfall.

How did Palouse Falls Form?

Palouse Falls is a gorgeous waterfall nestled in eastern Washington. But how did it get there? How did Palouse Falls form?

Palouse Falls formed more than 13,000 years ago from Ice Age flooding.

Palouse Falls Facts

  • Palouse Falls has a 200-foot drop.

  • The falls carry around 2,000 cubic feet of water every second.

  • It flows from the Palouse River.

  • The area the falls drop from is known as a cataract.

  • The Palouse River ends when it meets the Snake River (along which you can find Hells Gate State Park in Idaho!)

  • It was named Washington's Official Waterfall in 2014.

  • The falls were first documented in 1841, but the area had long since been in use by Native American tribes.

  • The state park was dedicated on June 3rd, 1951.

Where to Stay Near Palouse Falls?

During winter, camping near Palouse Falls isn't the most attractive option. Luckily, the nearby towns of Walla Walla and Dayton are around 45 minutes away. The latter is close to the Blue Mountains and is well-loved for its rustic charm.

Palouse Falls from Above
Palouse Falls in winter from above


Is Palouse Falls open in winter?

Yes, Palouse Falls is open in winter! But it's far more difficult to get there than it is during any other season. The roads can be treacherous.

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