If you’re not familiar with Palouse Falls here’s a quick rundown.
The Palouse Falls lies on the Palouse River, about 4 miles upstream of the confluence with the Snake River. The falls are 198 ft in height and drop into a beautiful bowl. Of course the terrain abound the falls is dry desert and the area is sparsely populated.
The canyon at the falls is 377 ft deep, exposing a large cross-section of the Columbia River Basalt Group. These falls and the canyon downstream are an important feature of the channeled scablands created by the great Missoula floods that swept periodically across eastern Washington and across the Columbia River Plateau during the Pleistocene epoch.
Potholes State Park
The plan was for Theresa and I to meet up with Matt and his wife at Potholes State Park for a long weekend. Potholes seem like a silly name for a park but it gets its name from the many small lakes in the area that were created by a combination of events. The first event was the creation of huge depressions, 30 to 70 yards wide and 10 to 60 feet deep, that were made in the earth during the Pleistocene flooding. Those depressions were filled with water, making pothole lakes, when the water table rose in the 1950s with the creation of O’Sullivan Dam. The dam was part of a project by the Bureau of Reclamation to provide irrigation water to farmers.
The park reflects the same duality that the two halves of the state that mentioned earlier. The half designated for RV’s is lush and green. Much like camping on a golf course. It looked like there was even hookups for cable.
The tent camping side is more like camping in the projects; dirty, dry, dusty and neglected. And grossly overcrowded. Most sites had 5 or 7 tents crammed in each site and there was no enforcement of ‘quiet time’.
I enjoy and appreciate our states campsites and most are well worth a visit, but I can’t give this campground the same endorsement.
However, we did have a good time visiting with Matt and Shelly which of course is no surprise but I think we’ll keep our explorations confined to the west side; at least for the foreseeable future.