Crossroads: Dry Falls

In Washington state, the remains of one of the greatest waterfalls in geologic history tell
of a torrent of water so awesome that it would dwarf Niagara Falls. The thundering
waterfall was 3.3 miles across and almost 400 feet high. Some 15,000 years ago, a gigantic
lake, formed by a receding glacier, broke through its ice dam, creating a catastrophic
flood that, in volume, was equal to more than 20 times the combined flow of water in all of
the rivers of the world. A 300-foot-thick wall of water spilled over an escarpment that
today is known as Dry Falls, now part of the Grand Coulee formation.


Dry Falls, which has
been designated a registered natural landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior, is
operated by Sun Lake State Park. For full-hookup sites, call (800) 452-5687. The
interpretive center, located seven miles southwest of Coulee City on State Route 17, is
open from May to September.


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