You Are At Dry Falls - Grant County, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 47° 36.435 W 119° 21.809
11T E 322365 N 5275355
Quick Description: In central Washington, Grand Coulee was once the site of the world's largest waterfall.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 1/5/2019 6:22:36 PM
Waymark Code: WMZTXT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Tuena
Views: 0

Long Description:
At the end of the last ice age, huge lakes formed behind dams of ice, eventually breaking through the dams, releasing their water in vast floods. One of the most notable of these was Glacial Lake Missoula, which, when it unleashed its water, flooded a large portion of Washington and Oregon states. The huge volume of water, travelling at up to 60 miles per hour, scoured the countryside, carving out many large valleys and canyons, the Grand Coulee being one.

One of the more notable features left by the floods is Dry Falls in Washington's Grant County. A 3.5-mile wide and 400-foot tall waterfall, it is shown in the photo below. Surrounding Dry Falls is Dry Falls State Park. As well as a showcase of natural wonder, this is a recreational park, a 3,774-acre camping park with 73,640 feet of freshwater shoreline and 15 miles of hiking trails.

On the south precipice of the canyon, facing north toward Dry Falls are a series of informational plaques relating a bit of the story of how Dry Falls came to be. One plaque, several feet northwest of the stone gazebo and entitled World's Greatest Waterfall ... Without Water!, are three images, on one of which is this UR Here indicator, noting that the observer is, indeed, "standing in front of the plaque while facing Dry Falls".

For full information on the park, see the Printable park brochure.

Dry Falls
As the name suggests, Dry Falls no longer carries water, but is the remnant of what was once the largest waterfall known to have existed on earth. Viewing the 3.5 miles of sheer cliffs that drop 400 feet, it is easy to imagine the roar of water pouring over them. (Niagara Falls by comparison, is one mile wide with a drop of 165 feet).

The falls were created following the catastrophic collapse of an enormous ice-dam holding back the waters of what has been named "Glacier Lake Missoula". Water covering three thousand square miles of northwest Montana, about the volume of Lake Ontario, was locked behind this glacial dam until the rising lake penetrated, lifted and then blew out the ice dam. The massive torrent (known as the Missoula Flood) ran wild through the Idaho panhandle, the Spokane River Valley, much of eastern Washington and into Oregon, flooding the area that is now the city of Portland under 400 feet of water.

Reaching the Dry Falls area, this tremendous force swept away earth and rock from a precipice actually 15 miles south of the falls near Soap Lake, causing the falls to retreat to its present position, now known as Dry Falls. The falls is said to be a spectacular example of "headward erosion". If this is confusing, given the present topography, it also helps to know the falls are on an ancient course of the Columbia River. The river had been diverted this way by the encroaching glaciers. It returned to its present course as the ice retreated.
From Tour Grant County

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Location Name: Dry Falls

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