Dry Falls is exactly what it sounds like, a dry waterfall. The massive 350 foot cliffs of Dry Falls are the remnants of what may have at one time been the largest waterfall to have ever existed on the planet. The falls were caused by a series of cataclysmic events known as the Bretz Floods. The quick and dirty version of it is during the last Ice Age, the Cordilleran Ice sheet advanced south as far as the present day location of Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho. The glacier dammed the flow of the Clark Fork of the Pend Oreille River, resulting in a massive lake 3000 square miles in size and up to 2000 feet deep in many places. When the lake got big enough, the ice dam became buoyant and the impounded waters pulverized it, resulting in a flood of biblical proportions that ripped across the landscape of Eastern Washington and emptying into the Pacific Ocean via the path of the Columbia River. These floods were thought to have occured as many as 40 times over the course of 5000 years and are almost entirely responsible for the rugged canyon-like geology found in the southern and central parts of Eastern Washington. The subject is too complicated to go into in depth, I would highly recommend reading the book "Cataclysms on the Columbia" by John Eliot Allen and Marjorie Burns for a much more detailed explination. Dry Falls itself is the remnant of the largest channel of this floodwater scouring out a canyon in ancient lava flows. During the peak of the floods, there was so much water flowing down the plain that the falls were literally just a ripple, but as the water subsided, the result was a 350 foot tall waterfall stretching over 3 1/2 miles wide - essentially equal to three of Africa's Victoria Falls lined up side by side.
- Dry Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Dry Falls is found just south of Banks Lake near Coulee City, pretty much right in the middle of Washington State. From Coulee City, cross the Dry Falls Dam on Highway 2 and turn south onto Highway 17, the overlook and visitors center are found about 1 3/4 miles south of Highway 2. Additionally, the lakes below the falls can be accessed via Sun Lakes State Park about 2 miles further south.