If you find yourself in the area, taking a short time to visit the roadside attraction known as Dry Falls would be a great idea. It features a fabulous scenic view but don’t discount the visitor center there as well.
Dry Falls Dam was one of the many important achievements in the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project that was started so long ago and has brought so much agricultural prosperity to the region. Here are five fun facts about this interesting engineering feature that you may have even driven right across.
-Dry Falls Dam was completed in 1949
-Dry Falls Dam backs up water in the Grand Coulee that forms Banks Lake. The water that fills up Banks Lake is pumped up from the Columbia River at Grand Coulee Dam.
-Dry Falls Dam measures in at 123 feet high.
-Water is diverted from Banks Lake, through Dry Falls Dam, then through two tunnels that mearsure two miles in length, then it travels by canal to Billy Clapp Lake where it is stored for further irrigation use behind Pinto Dam.
-While the major dams on the Columbia River in the area are made of concrete, Dry Falls Dam is an earthen dam that is faced with rock.
Dry Falls is one of the more stunningly beautiful sights to see in North Central Washington. It impacts you in two ways. First, it is visually impressive. Second, when you imagine what it must have looked like when water flowed over it, it is almost hard to picture.
Here are five fun facts about Dry Falls.
-The rim of Dry Falls stretches for three and a half miles. This is five times as wide as Niagara Falls.
-Scientists estimate that the flow of the falls at Dry Falls was ten times the current flow of all the rivers in the world combined together.
-The highest point of Dry Falls would’ve seen water drop 400 feet to what is now dry land below.
-Immediately south of the actual site of Dry Falls is Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park which is home to over 190 campsites, as well as boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing, golf, mountain biking, and other activities.
-Just north of the site of Dry Falls is Dry Falls Dam which was completed in 1949 and forms the southern shore of Banks Lake.
Dry Falls Dam sits just west of Coulee City and is on the southern edge of Banks Lake, keeping water in for use as hydroelectric power as well as water recreation. Water is released through the dam to continue on down the Columbia River Basin for irrigation purposes. This is a very small but a very important dam in North Central Washington.
Dry Falls is one of North Central Washington’s true treasures. these magnificent cliffs that once saw huge cascades of water pouring over them can be enjoyed both from the visitors center above (where this video is shot from) as well as from the many trails that explore the area below. Sun Lakes State Park is located just south of Dry Falls and provides access to the area as well as many things to do while there as well.
Deep Lake sits just below Dry Falls and is accessible from Sun Lakes State Park.
Dry Falls Dams seals off the southern boundary of Banks Lake and releases much of the water that is used to irrigate the Columbia River Basin from that point south.