Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

As you enter Sun Lakes-Dry Falls, you may feel like you’re on another planet. The park is surrounded by one of Washington’s most striking and historically significant landscapes.

Dry Falls is a geological wonder of North America. Carved by Ice Age floods more than 13,000 years ago, the former waterfall was once four times the size of Niagara Falls. Today, the 400-foot-high, 3.5-mile-wide cliff overlooks a big sky and a landscape of deep gorges and dark, reflective lakes. The park is a notable site along the National Ice Age Floods Geologic Trail.

Visitors – especially history and geology geeks – will appreciate the Dry Falls Visitor Center, where interpretive displays tell the story of the floods and their effects on Washington’s landscape. (Call 509-632-5214 for seasonal hours and to arrange a tour.) 

The park also offers great recreation. Nothing beats the boat launch and social atmosphere of Park Lake, and shimmering Deep Lake presents a remote swimming, paddling and kayaking experience. The lure of Dry Falls Lake entices anglers to cast out for bass, perch and trout. Hiking trails wind through the scented, sage-dotted hills, to table-top cliffs with panoramic views. The park even offers nine-hole and miniature golf for visitors who equate a desert vacation with a good game on the green.  

Park features


Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is a 4,027-acre camping park with 73,640 feet of freshwater shoreline at the foot of Dry Falls between Soap Lake and Coulee City.  

Discover Pass: A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.
 
Automated pay station: This park is equipped with an automated pay station for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass and boat launch permit.
  1. Activities
  2. Boating
  3. Camping
  4. History
  5. Maps

ADA amenities/facilities


  • Campground
  • Restroom

Picnic & day-use facilities

There are 90 unsheltered picnic tables, available first come, first served.

Activities


Trails


  • 15 miles of hiking trails

Water activities & features


  • 680 feet of dock
  • Two boat ramps
  • Boating
  • Fishing (freshwater)
  • Personal watercraft use
  • Swimming
  • Water skiing

Other activities & features


  • Amphitheater
  • Bird watching
  • Fire circle
  • Golf
  • Two horseshoe pits
  • Interpretive activities
  • Mountain biking
  • Museum
  • Wildlife viewing

Interpretive opportunities


The visitor center at Dry Falls tells the story of this amazing geological phenomenon. From lava flows to the Ice Age floods, and from the Native American legacy to the modern discovery of how Dry Falls was created, the Dry Falls story is revealed to tens of thousands of visitors each year. A gift shop in the visitor center has a wide selection of books, maps, guides, videos, postcards, film, and other merchandise about Dry Falls and the surrounding area. At the end of your visit you will want to spend time looking through the wall of windows over the precipice, as it is magnificent. Please note that a donation helps support the operation of the center.

Throughout the park, roads and trails will take you to other fantastic views of geologic features and bring you closer to the desert plants and animals. Take time to make your own discoveries and create your own explanations for what you see. If you had been J Harlen Bretz, would you have come up with such an "outlandish" theory as huge Ice Age floods? The Grand Coulee, of which Dry Falls is a central feature, has been designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service. As you drive or hike through the Grand Coulee, please do your part to help preserve this national treasure. Admission is by donation.
 

Additional information

  
  • Heavy winds are always a possibility in this park.
  • A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.