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Friday, October 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Palouse Falls no longer an out-of-the-way attraction

Palouse Falls, a spectacular water fall near Washtucna, Washington, is a popular but remote destination for visitors and campers. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Palouse Falls, a spectacular water fall near Washtucna, Washington, is a popular but remote destination for visitors and campers. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

PARKS -- Palouse Falls State Park gets a lot of buzz during spring when the 185-foot falls thunder with runoff. This  year's flood-stage flows have attracted even more attention.

So much so that a book is a handy thing to bring along in the car for a mid-day visit to pass the time you might wait to get into the park.

Here's a report from Chase Copeland of Mica, who visited Palouse River waterfall that 's between Washtucna and Starbuck on Sunday.

My wife and I were driving home from Walla Walla yesterday and decided to take the hwy route that passes by Palouse Falls State Park.  We planned to stop at the park for an hour or so to do some hiking and have a late picnic lunch.  The drive north from WW had very little traffic.  However, once we got to the park turnoff, we saw over 25 cars on the side of the highway, each waiting their turn to get into the park. 

A park ranger told us the park was full and he was allowing one car to enter for each car that left.  He estimated our wait time to be 1.5 hours and at times could be much longer.  He said it was like that every weekend in the spring and that they had talked about putting in a shuttle service, but that might never happen. 

We had seen the falls several times before and not wanting to wait, disappointingly headed home.  As we drove north we saw at least 20 more cars traveling south, most likely to the park.  I wondered how many of them would turn around after hearing about the wait times which were now increasing.  We will go back to the park sometime, but on a different schedule.  Most likely on a weekend since my wife and I both work, but we’ll try for much earlier in the day. 

Maybe you could get out a warning to your readers.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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