Pick the Scablands

Picture a 5-foot brick wall. Place a penny on it, and that would be the size of Niagara Falls compared to the cataclysm of water that flooded the eastern region of Washington during the last ice age. Stand on an extended viewing point overlooking the large canyon, and imagine the greatest waterfall in geological history. The Channeled Scablands resemble streaks of havoc through fertile, largely flat farmlands. It makes for an exceptional road trip from Seattle, Portland or Vancouver, crossing mountain passes and gorgeous forests until you arrive in the fertile fruit-growing region of Washington, and the unusual scablands topography. Little known even to locals, the region is historically significant, scenically stunning, and utterly unique.

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Length of Trip : 2-3 day road trip from Seattle, Portland or Vancouver, BC

Cost :
There's no cost to visit Dry Falls and drive around the surrounding area. The Visitor Centre is free with donations accepted.

Best time to go : May to September. Spring is particularly pretty with the blossoming fruit farms

Wheelchair friendly : Yes

Family friendly : Yes

Where to eat :
Stop in Leavensworth, a Bavarian-themed town a couple hours away. A number of places serve up authentic schnitzel, wurst and German food. We also added Woodenville into our roadtrip, where you can find a dozen wine tasting rooms located in close proximity, serving locally produced wines.

Official Site :
Washington State Park: Dry Falls

Where to Stay :
We spent the night in Leavensworth, which has a number of hotels and motels of varying quality. The Bavarian Lodge is very popular, as is the Enzian Inn and Hotel Pension Anna.

Getting There :
Dry Falls Heritage Area is located about 11 southwest of Coulee City in northeast Washington. The Channeled Scablands cover about a third of Eastern Washington, and there are geological highlights all through the region. Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is a huge camping park located at the foot of Dry Falls. The Dry Falls Interpretive Center is located two miles north of the park on Highway 17. The Visitor Center is open Monday-Thursday from 9 am. to 4 pm, Friday to Sunday from 9 am to 6pm.

Note from Robin :
No matter which direction you're driving in, look out for signs of the cataclysm: large boulders that have been washed into place from miles away, ripples in the landscape resembling receding waves, and clear-cut canyons in an otherwise prairie-looking region. I recommend reading Graham Hancock's book Magicians of the Gods for a deeper understanding of the area's historical significance and some of the theories that are turning our geological past on its head. On your road trip, expect fruit orchards, mirror-smooth lakes, huge open sky, and hardly any traffic.

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Scabs of the land

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Dry Falls Viewpoint

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Cherry blossom season

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Exploring the back roads

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Story of Dry Falls

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Road Bliss

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Does the Channeled Scablands belong on the Global Bucket List?

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