Dry Falls measures in at three and a half miles long across its face. This now impressive desert-like scenic site was the site of a huge waterfall at the end of the last ice age. Water rushed down the Upper Grand Coulee, where man made Banks Lake sits now, and poured over this 400 foot tall waterfall. This must’ve been a staggering sight to see. Scientific estimates put the size of the falls at roughly five times the width of Niagara Falls. The water flowing over it is estimated to have been ten times the flow of all the current rivers in the whole world combined.
Today, Dry Falls is part of Washington State Parks and is located just south of the southern end of Banks Lake, right on Highway 17 in a section of roadway called the Coulee Corridor. This corridor is an excellent road trip destination too with other nearby sights being Soap Lake, Moses Coulee, Lake Lenore Caves, and of course Grand Coulee Dam.
Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park features a popular visitor center and scenic overlook right off the highway, a campground area down below that includes thousands of feet of shoreline on several small lakes, and lots of trails and roads that head back into the Dry Falls area where you can explore and view this impressive sight from down within it. The state park features camping, a swim area, plenty of open space, and some great scenery. Sun Lakes Resort, a privately run establishment, is also there and you can find a small grocery store, restaurant, miniature golf course, and a fun selection of watercraft to rent there too. There are also cabins to rent and a golf course too.
Getting out and exploring Dry Falls though is one of the most memorable things you can do. Take a drive through the floor of the canyon and you’ll see local wildlife, interesting plants and wildflowers, and several more small lakes. Looking up at the walls that surround you makes it easy to wonder what it must been like with all that water plummeting over the rim of the canyon.
Dry Falls is a great roadside attraction in Eastern Washington. One that offers so muchmore than a scenic turnout. When you go there you can learn a lot about the natural history of the area, be impressed by such a huge natural sight, and also stay awhile and enjoy all that there is to do there. It really is one of the treasures of the Pacific Northwest.