February Image of the Month: Dry Falls, Grant County, WA.

This month’s header image of Dry Falls, located south of Coulee City in Grant County, was submitted by DNR’s Senior Reclamation Geologist, Rian Skov.

The falls were created during the Missoula floods during the last Ice Age about 18,000-12,000 years ago. Cyclic damming and breaching of the ice surrounding massive Glacial Lake Missoula (which was situated in current-day western Montana) led to numerous outburst flood events and left large flood-carved landforms from Montana through Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The floods sculpted Dry Falls by incising into the Columbia River Basalts rock formation. According to Rian’s personal communications with the Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park ranger, the volume of water coming over the falls during flood flows was equal to about ten times that of Niagara falls.

This impressive spot is easy to visit as it is a principal stop along the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, and has a WA State Parks-maintained visitor center.