Palouse Falls State Park – Declared Washington State’s “Official Waterfall” in 2014, the 200-foot Palouse Falls is the centerpiece of this 105-acre state park located 18 miles (driving distance – about a 30-minute drive) southeast of Washtucna, in the channeled scablands of the Palouse region. Its most distinctive geologic features are the rugged cliffs and columns of basalt, and the upper and lower waterfalls of the Palouse River. Alex McGregor has in his McGregor Company offices just outside Colfax, an old photograph of the Palouse Falls – taken decades before the advent of conservation tillage – in which the water appears jet black against the lighter face of the cliff, as it carries away tons and tons of the fertile topsoil that made the Palouse an agricultural goldmine (whose loess is everyone’s gain). The falls today still carries runoff from farms upstream, but far less soil than it used to. If you’re planning a visit to Palouse Falls State Park that will include hiking, wear sturdy boots and be vigilant for rattlesnakes in the warm seasons. The photographs below were taken on Memorial Day 2015.