Dry Falls

Dry Falls Visitor Center
Dry Falls Visitor Center

Grand Coulee was the destination of our recent trip east of the Cascades. We were on a low key geologic pilgrimage to explore the features of this fascinating area where a significant part of Washington State’s formation is laid bare.

Dry Falls, above, is a broad illustration of volcanic forces and ice age flows that formed today’s dramatic landscape. Over three miles wide, the falls was the site of catastrophic flooding at the end of the last ice age when a massive ice dam burst northeast of this region. It is estimated that the water flows through the Grand Coulee and Dry Falls was ten times the current flows of all the rivers in the world today. It has carved out a region of basalt volcanic cliffs and bluffs peppered with small lakes. I’ll show you more of the region over the next couple of days.

5 thoughts on “Dry Falls”

  1. That is an impressive sight and once again you have broadened my knowledge of that area of our country! I’ll be looking for more photos of the result of the carving of volcanic cliff and bluffs and small lakes.

  2. The scene you captured in this photo has an other-worldly look about it and it is beautiful. I do so appreciate all the factual information in this and other posts you have given us; I feel educated many times when I visit your blog. It is a nice feeling. Because of your interest in all things natural, I wonder if you are familiar with a writer called Terry Tempest Williams. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to discover her. Some of her passages are downright lyrical. I often feel that the world in which we live is downright magical, and I am so interested in writers who explore the natural world. Again, I love this photo!!

  3. An amazing landscape. The end of the last ice age had a similar effect in an area of Ontario where the drainage of the upper Great Lakes flowed east instead of through Erie and Ontario for a few hundred years, until the land uplifted and altered the course of the water flow. There are signs of that here and there.

    Kate’s remark about Terry Tempest Williams strikes home… I like her work.

  4. One of our favorites – again. It sure looks different from when we visited 5 years ago. There is a lot more water in the lakes – and more green around them. It was very dry and barren looking when we were there – but what an amazing site. We saw a lone coyote waaaaaay down at the bottom of the cliffs – it was running along the edge of the water. Fishing boats in the lakes looked like tiny dots. What a fabulous view.

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