You are looking at one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Northwest and a staple of the region's geology. The Palouse is full of beautiful landscapes, but the most impressive by far is the grand, 198-foot high Palouse Falls. Situated five-miles upstream from the Snake River confluence on the Palouse River, the impressive cascading waterfall has been a staple of Palouse geology since it was first discovered long ago by local tribes. The beauty and awe-inspiring power of Palouse Falls has inspired and attracted visitors for generations.
Palouse Falls holds a special place in the creation story of the Palus Indians. The traditional fishing site of the Palus Tribe is located near the falls, where the Snake and Palouse Rivers meet. This is where the village of Palus, the tribe's largest and oldest village once stood. Also known as Naha'u'umpu'u, or "People of the River," they are especially fond of the falls because residing nearby is the massive, petrified heart of the legendary Beaver, Wishpushya.
During the time of the Animal People, Beaver lived peacefully at his lodge at Hole-in-the-Ground near Rock Lake in northern Whitman County. He was killed by the five Wolf Brothers armed with spears, but not before an epic battle ensued in which time the rocky and undulating geography of the Palouse was formed as a result of the struggle. Beaver was mortally wounded at Palouse Falls (known to the Palus as "Falling Water," or Aputaput). In the pain and agony of death, he thrashed and flailed, gauging-out the rocks with his mighty claws and teeth, forming the sheer cliffs that surround the falls. Beaver died from his wounds, falling at the confluence of the Snake River where his giant heart transformed to stone. According to legend, the remains of Beaver crated all of the region's various tribes. The Palus are said to have "sprung from his heart," which is the large rock on the west side of the Palouse River at the Snake River confluence and is still visible today.