Ricky Kresslein

Palouse Falls State Park


For the past week, my brother, Sam, and I were in Tucannon, Washington. We went to Tucannon in order to do some Columbia Valley wine tours. When I called the RV park to make a reservation, the guy acted strange when I told him our reason for coming, but he didn’t dispute it. When we arrived, we realized we had made a grave mistake.

Not only are there no vineyards near Tucannon, there is not much of anything. Tucannon RV park rests in a desert-like valley among wheat fields and grasslands scorched brown by the sun. The whole place looks like it is dying for a sip of water. Except for the RV park, that is.

The proprietor of the RV campground keeps the grass so green and lush it seems out of place. He keeps sprinklers on it literally 24 hours every day. When you compare it to the surrounding landscape, the contrast is incredible.

When we realized there were no vineyards around, we wondered what we should do. Sam’s whole purpose for coming out to Washington on the first leg of his cross-country trip was to taste Washington wines and see the vineyards that made them. Now that dream had blown away and we were stranded for the next week in a place that seemed like a sand storm could be coming at any moment. We immediately got on the internet and searched for things to do.

Sam found a place called Palouse Falls. It was a state park with a large waterfall. There were some incredible photos of it online, so we decided to go.

When we arrived, I prepared my backpack to take on a hike. We had read online that it was a 1/2 mile hike. Nothing intense, but a hike none-the-less. However, after a short walk to the other side of the parking lot, we saw that we had arrived at the end of the hike. The waterfall is right beside the parking lot.

We snapped a few photos before realizing that there was a much longer hike that wrapped all the way around behind the falls and down to the pool at the bottom, so we started walking. We made it all the way down a steep hill covered in gravel and wound up behind the waterfall. I had a couple of slips that nearly gave me a heart attack, but it was worth it. It was a spectacular sight.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get any good photos that day. The light was poor and it was the middle of the day, so we vowed to come back at sunset one day.

A few days later we found ourselves standing in front of Palouse Falls at sunset. I stood all the way up on the top of a cliff opposite the falls for a couple of hours and got some great long exposure shots.