Palouse Falls – Waterfall in the Desert

Palouse Falls – Waterfall in the Desert

It’s funny, because I know I’m not the only nature photographer who travels around the country with this problem. The light is perfect, and I’m only five minutes away!

Driving like an idiot a couple of weeks ago with my wife and two young children strapped-in in the backseat, I was hauling ass down the unpaved roads of Eastern Washington, risking tearing off my front axle with all the potholes and dips as the most gorgeous light I’ve ever seen was falling like a grandiose curtain over the sagebrush canyonlands. In this unforgettable place I’ve never witnessed before with my own eyes, we were going to catch the Palouse Falls in this incredible lighting, but with my usual work rig –  it works even better after the sun drops lower than the “ideal”… you can decide.

Click on any image to enlarge

Palouse Falls

Palouse Falls – Eastern Washington

Eastern Washington’s iconic Palouse Falls is a 198-foot waterfall on the Palouse River which empties into the Snake River. These ancient basalt cliffs were created by lava and ground down by massive glaciers.

Palouse River

Palouse River – Eastern Washington

Sometimes when photographing a grand waterfall, it’s a good idea to look at the view behind you! The Palouse River is a somewhat short river in southeastern Washington that joins the Snake River, which in turn joins the mighty Columbia River that forms the border between Washington and Oregon.

Palouse Falls

Palouse Falls and Beyond – Eastern Washington

After I spent the only available 15 minutes I had on location shooting before it got too dark for any interesting shots, I scrambled around for a bit trying to see if I could get any of the the desert cottontails I saw on camera, but soon gave up in favor of a nice outdoor family dinner by flashlight.

~ More Images of Palouse Falls and the River ~

                                                                                          

Sharing and commenting via the social media links below helps me greatly, and is much appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Rich Leighton
October 27, 2014
ALL IMAGES AVAILABLE FOR PRINT OR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!
©2014 Leighton Photography & Imaging

About The Author

Pro photographer, writer, master naturalist, Florida native in the PNW, lucky husband, father of two boys, big hockey and soccer fan, and native orchid hunter.

Comments (4)

  • Grace @ Green Global Travel

    Really beautiful shots, Rich!

  • Rich Leighton

    Thanks Grace! Happy Halloween!

  • Tom brody

    For the past three years, I’ve been reading about and wanting to travel to Palouse Falls, and perhaps also Drumheller Channel, and to the pothole-rich area just north of Quincy, called, Babcock Bench. I was all set to take a road trip from Berkeley, CA to Smith Rock, and then to Painted Hills, and then to Palouse Falls. But then I noticed the freaquent complaints on YELP and TRIPADVISOR about the lumpy washboard road to Palouse Falls, and about the fact that park rangers force to to turn back if the lot is filled up. And so, I deleted Palouse from my agenda, and replaced it with Shore Acres State Park at Coos Bay. This park has some of the best tafoni on the entire Pacific coast. One of my 1-man photo exhibitions (at science/nature museums) featured tafoni found at Bean Hollow State Beach and at Salt Point State Park. Distance from Painted Hills to Palouse is same as distance from Painted Hills to Shore Acres, and so the decision was a no-brainer.

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