Dry Falls Interpretive Center

Dry Falls Interpretive Center

Dry Falls Interpretive Center
4.5
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Offers information on the geology and history of Dry Falls.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles206 reviews
Excellent
142
Very good
52
Average
10
Poor
1
Terrible
1

tumbleweedchris
Richland, WA1,003 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
This visitor's center is just not interesting. It is small and has dated informational signs. And unfortunately, it is just informational signs. There is nothing in the way of dynamic or engaging exhibits. The best part of this place is the viewpoint outside of the visitor center. The visitor center should in no way weigh in to whether you visit or not. Enjoy the views, but that's all you should expect from this stop.
Written August 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tumbleweedchris
Richland, WA1,003 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
My headline is a half joke, but really this attraction relies on your imagination. Yes, it is a nice viewpoint, but you get a lot of vistas like this in this part of the state. You could tell me this was a waterfall or you could tell me a bunch of lemmings jumped off and I would just nod. The visitor center is not particularly great either. It's fairly small and mostly just posters with a stack of words. Not my kind of visitor center. Technically, you need a Discover Pass or to pay a fee, but you'll be in and out so quick that it doesn't really matter. Don't get me wrong, this is a fun novelty, but not one I'd make much of a detour for. Check it out only if you are passing through.
Written August 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

El_Fez
Seattle170 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I love to travel. Doesn’t matter how far - a few hundred miles or the other side of the globe is all the same to me. The cultural nexus of Vienna is just as good as the tiny town of Mansfield (population 500). Putting myself up in an exotic hotel is just as thrilling as camping under the stars - which is what I did just recently, a week of camping at the Dry Falls State Park, in eastern Washington.

Dry Falls is the sight of a big dry falls, a half mile wide crescent shape that - if water was flowing over it, would be about ten times the side of the Niagara falls. The falls were formed thousands of years ago when the great ice ages were upon us. A huge ice dam formed in Idaho, creating Glacial Lake Missoula, a lake quite literarily thousand of miles wide with billions of gallons of water behind it. When the ice gave way, the water had to go somewhere - that somewhere was dry falls. This sudden rush of water put great portions of Washington and Oregon under hundreds of feet of water in hours.

And I was camping right in the valley carved by the deepest, most intense part of the flow.

The campgrounds is pretty much what you would expect - boating and swimming on the nearby Sun Lakes (about a hundred yards from where we were set up at), hiking nearby, a gold course just over the hill (didn’t play, but its there if you like that sort of thing), and of course all kinds of geological features to explore. At the top of the falls, about two miles up Highway 17 is the Dry Falls Interpretive Center, just outside of Coulee City. They have a couple of good lookout points, a smallish building with maps and the story of how the process unfolded and how the geologists unlocked the mystery, plus a small bookstore with videos about the flood, assorted stuffed animals (including the most adorable wooly mammoth plushy ever) and all kinds of books.

The City of Coulee (although calling it a city is generous) is just another couple of miles past that, with a handful of amenities - a general store, some restaurants, a gas station and a motel. Pretty basic, but really small. If you need something bigger, the town of Soap Lake is to the south about 17 miles.

Other activities include the Grand Coulee Dam, which is easily worth a day's visit alone (be sure to stay for the laser show on the dam), the Ape Caves just to the south of Sun Lake (no apes, but genuine caves where primitive cavemen once lived) and some great short road trip potential.

The only down side of the park? I don’t know if it's always this bad - but the two times I've camped there (once in the late eighties and just recently in 2007), it can get VERY windy. Two nights on this trip - the first night we got there and the night before we packed up and left, the winds were brutal. Our neighbors, who did a very poor job putting up their tent, had theirs leaning nearly all the way over. Ours was sturdy, but I didn’t get much sleep that night. Like I said, I only have a very small sample to work from, but 100 percent of the time I've camped there, high winds were a factor.

Strangely, no bike rentals anywhere that I could find. One would think something like that would be a natural for the area, but now. Pity - there were some great back roads for that sort of thing.

At the end of the day, I probably wont go back - but not for lack of amenities or for lack of anything to do, but that twice pretty much mines that area out of new and interesting things to do. But for the first timer, it's great stuff. The area is beautiful, with gorgeous sunsets every night. There's plenty of amenities close at hand, but you're distant enough to feel like you're outdoors. There's plenty to do with only a short drive away.
Written March 1, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

willyum2
Ferndale, WA68 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2011 • Couples
This state park is a Washington jewell. The scope and scale of the dry falls rivals other attractions that would surely fall into the domain of National Parks. The interpretive center is excellent, the staff congenial and helpful, the lookout platforms are safe and provide an incredible vista. Down in the valley below are two campgrounds. We camped at the upper campground and give the campgound raving reviews. The blending of private an public facilities works very well. Caution: be prepared for afternoon strong winds. The only reason I did not give this a five rating was that the interpretive center could use an physical upgrade. The Interpretive Center shop offers a variety of impressive maps, charts, books, and CDs.

If you are touring the east side of the Cascades you don't want to miss this stop. Sorry, but the fishing wasn't that great when we visited. Next time.

Bill and Lynn Day
Written March 25, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

explorer-0001
Washington DC, DC68 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dry Falls is an amazing sight if your into geology and evolution of the earth. The visitor center provides a history of Dry Falls and a visualization of the falls when water flowed.

Dry Falls is a great stop if your driving through this part of WA. It is amazing this type of landscape exist in Washington State as the landscape is typical to what one would see down south such as the Grand Canyons.
Written October 8, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TAMAN1951
Liberty Lake, WA8,231 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
Great find but not well publicized.

Fantastic panorama and a truly impressive story.

Right off Highway 17. Can’t miss it.

Well worth a visit if in the area.
Written July 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

YankeeSabi
Queens, NY79 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Friends
Oh man...! Way Cool Man..!
Grand Canyon type views of this petite Grand Canyon in Washington State..!
Found this place on the way back from the Grand Coulee Dam.
The drive getting to this place just as cool !
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You should see this place Man..! Big wide canyon and your way up off the canyon floor.!
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Oh Man.! The little outdoor viewing platform is on a cliff over the canyon ! Scary stuff !
Beautiful views from this platform. If you scared of heights you better stay on terra firma. If your driving south bound you should slow down a bit before you pull into the parking lot. You will see the viewing platform perched on the cliff..! Rad man !
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On a clear day this is should be a must see stop. Good to see no vendors bugging you.
Everyone we met here just as awed as we were ! Who knew there was a place this ?
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Get outta da car and enjoy da views ! Mother Nature is no joke Man !
Written October 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

westernboy007
Princeton, Canada152 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2011
Travelling through the State of Washington provides a family with some of the most incredible opportunities to view and enjoy natural geologic wonders that one will find anywhere in America. The Dry Falls and the coulee itself are remnants of catastrophies of unimaginable size that happened at the end of the last iceage. Try and imagine a water flow passing this point at an estimated rate of 60 cubic kilometers per hour. The cliffs here drop off some 200 feet to the coulee floor below, and this would have been but a ripple in the water surface. An the estimate is that this flow reoccured more than twenty five times spaced relatively evenly at twenty five year intervals. Include this stop as a must as you explore Washington. Start at Grande Coulee to the north and travel south past Banks Lake, accross the Dam at the end turn left to the interprative center and look accross the four mile wide falls. Continue down the coulee, take your time, there are Golf courses, and swimming holes, ancient once inhabitted caves to climb to, and several beautiful lakes that welcome the power boat enthusiast. Stop at Soap Lake to the south, and make sure you take a dip in its healing waters. A motel there on the south end of the lake has quaint and beautiful log cabins, each with its own theme, and two sets of taps, one with lake water one with ordinary supplying water to the tubs. As you travel make sure you give yourself enough time to stop often, and explore the beaches ,restaurants, and antique shops. Do some rock climbing, especially at SteamBoat rock, just south of Grande Coulee. Swim in the beautiful lakes with sandy beaches, concessions, and always clean washrooms and dressing rooms. Take your best cameras and kids and enjoy!!
Written December 17, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Trudy B
West Kelowna, Canada23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
Be sure to take the drive up to this place up the Coulee Scenic Byway. The views are pretty spectacular. The Interpretive Center itself has some awesome views and good information about the falls. Definitely a must see if you are in the area. Staff are knowledgeable and willing to answer all questions.
Written August 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RobertB LittleLynden
Lynden, WA74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Solo
First, if you are traveling between Seattle and Spokane by car, you would never see this place. It is 50 miles north of I-90 on Hiway 20.

The Center tells a very interesting story about this area during the last Ice Age and how the falls were carved out by flood waters. The ranger offered numerous interesting stories and I was amazed by the shear size of the area.

Glad I stopped and I really think you will be too
Written October 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Dry Falls Interpretive Center - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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