Top photo: Michael Matti
The Palouse Falls lies on the Palouse River, about 4 mi (6 km) upstream of the confluence with the Snake River in southeast Washington, United States. The falls are 198 ft (60 m) in height. The falls consists of an upper falls with a drop of ~20 feet (6.1 m) which lies 1,000 feet (305 m) north northwest of the main drop, and a lower falls, with a drop of ~180 feet (55 m).
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The canyon at the falls is 115 meters (377 ft) deep, exposing a large cross-section of the Columbia River Basalt Group. These falls and the canyon downstream comprise an important feature of the channeled scablands created by the greatMissoula Floods that swept periodically across eastern Washington and across the Columbia River Plateau during the Pleistocene epoch.
The ancestral Palouse river flowed through the currently dry Washtucna Coulee to the Columbia River. The Palouse Falls and surrounding canyons were created when the Missoula Floods overtopped the south valley wall of the ancestral Palouse River, diverting it to the current course to the Snake River by erosion of a new channel.
The area is characterized by interconnected and hanging flood-created coulees, cataracts, plunge pools, kolk created potholes, rock benches, buttes and pinnacles typical of scablands. Palouse Falls State Park is located at the falls, protecting this part of the uniquely scenic area.
http://hugefloods.com/ presents video showing scenes from Palouse Falls in Winter. Palouse Falls was created by the Ice Age Floods that swept over eastern Washington 15,000 years ago. Geologists believe that Glacial Lake Missoula was the source for much of the water.
Palouse Falls – January 2009
http://hugefloods.com/ Includes Jetboat visit to the falls. The Ice Age Floods created the Palouse River Canyon and Palouse Falls. In December of 2008, much of eastern Washington received record amounts of snow. Warm January temperatures led to rapid melting and high streamflows shown in video.
Tyler Bradt kayaks off 186 ft, 56.7 meters Palouse Falls.
The first person to kayak down the U.S. falls – and set a world record for longest drop – was Montana’s Tyler Bradt, 23, in April 2009.
Tyler Bradt completes the World Record Waterfall Descent. This drop was re-measured at 189 ft. A few feet taller then we had previously thought… Tyler sustained minor injuries which included a sprained wrist and a massive hit.
Rafael Ortiz Paddles Down 189-Foot-Tall Washington Waterfall
Daredevil kayaker Rafael Ortiz of Mexico now carries the title of being the second person to kayak over Washington’s Palouse Falls and paddle himself to shore.
Ortiz, 24, plunged the 189-foot-tall waterfall — higher than Niagara Falls — April 25. According to the Red Bull website, which called Ortiz “a specialist for vertical water,” Ortiz soared down Mexico’s Big Banana Waterfall, which stands at 130 feet, in 2010.