Spokane and Eastern Washington Sights

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

  • 34875 Park Lake Rd. N.E. Map It
  • Coulee City
  • Geological Site
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 04/05/2016

Fodor's Review

A high point in the coulee, this park has campgrounds, picnic areas, boat rentals, 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.

Sight Information


34875 Park Lake Rd. N.E., Coulee City, Washington, 99115, United States

Map It


360-902–8844; 888-226–7688

Sight Details:

  • Day pass $10 per vehicle; annual Discovery Pass $30 (valid at all state parks); camping $20–$42
  • Summer, daily 6:30–dusk; winter, daily 8–dusk; visitor center May–Aug. daily 9–6, hrs vary off season

Published 04/05/2016


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