Dry Falls Interpretive Center

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

Coulee City, Washington

Hwy 17, 2 miles NE of the park entrance

During the Ice Age, glaciers altered the course of the Columbia River, creating Grand Coulee. The coulee was carved even deeper as catastrophic flooding from Glacial Lake Missoula swept across present-day Washington several times before the glaciers finally receded. As they receded, the Columbia returned to its original channel, leaving Grand Coulee dry.

A 3.5-mile-long 400-foot-tall precipice is located near the midpoint of the coulee, and created a massive waterfall when water was flowing through the coulee. Ten times larger than Niagara, it is believed that Dry Falls was the greatest known waterfall in world history.

Dry Falls and Grand Coulee provide some of the evidence that has helped scientists piece together our understanding of the Missoula Floods that occured during the Ice Age and created several landscape features in Washington.

The Dry Falls Interpretive Center at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park provides information about the Glacial Lake Missoula floods and the creation of Grand Coulee and Dry Falls. It also provides viewpoints featuring the Dry Falls precipice and the lakes at its base.


dry falls cataract

Dry Falls Cataract and Sun Lakes (S05A0031)


dry falls cataract

Dry Falls Cataract and Sun Lakes (S05A0028)


dry falls from the air

Dry Falls from the Air (W10A0031)
The Dry Falls cataract separates Upper Grand Coulee, home to the Banks Lake Reservoir, from Lower Grand Coulee.

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Nearby Sights

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