Spokane and Eastern Washington Sights



Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park Review

A high point in the coulee, this park has campgrounds, picnic areas, and a state-run golf course that attracts visitors year-round; in summer the lakes bristle with boaters. From the bluffs on U.S. 2, west of the dam, you can get a great view over this enormous canyon. To the north, the banks of the lake are hemmed in by cliffs. At Dry Falls, the upstream erosion of the canyon caused by the floods stops. Below Dry Falls, steep, barren cliffs—some 1,000 feet high—rise from green meadows, marshes, and blue lakes bordered by trees. Most of the water is irrigation water seeping through the porous rock, but the effect is no less spectacular. Eagles and ravens soar along the cliffs, while songbirds, ducks, and geese hang out in the bottomlands.

South of the Sun Lakes, the landscape turns even wilder. The coulee narrows and the cliffs often look like they are on fire, an illusion created by the bold patterns of orange and yellow lichens. The waters of the lakes change, too. The deep blue waters of the small lakes below Dry Falls are replaced by lapis lazuli in the Sun Lakes and turn milky farther south. Presentations at the park's interpretive center at Dry Falls survey the area's geology, and an excellent film describes the great floods.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 34875 Park Lake Road NE, Coulee City, WA 99115 | Map It
  • Phone: 360/902–8844; 888/226–7688
  • Cost: Discover Pass (valid at all state parks) $10 per day or $30 for a year; camping $23–$35
  • Hours: Daily: summer 6:30–dusk; winter 8–dusk; visitor center May–Sept. daily 9–6, hrs vary offseason
  • Website:
  • Location: Coulee Dam National Recreation Area
Updated: 03-24-2013

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