Sun Lakes State Park
Coulee City, Washington
Hours: The park is open year-round, 6:30 a.m. to dusk
Fees: For any visit to a Washington state park, a $5 daily parking permit is required. Standard campsites are $15 per night, and parking for additional vehicles is charged at $10 per night. Reservations are usually necessary during the summer time.
Location: Coulee City, Washington
Activities: 15 miles of hiking trails, stargazing, boating, fishing, swimming, waterskiing (all freshwater), bird watching, golf, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing. Dry Falls visitor center is also located a few miles up the road. You can read them at (509) 632-5214
Contact: For general reservations, call 1-800-CAMPOUT. For a complete list of contact information please visit the Washington state park website here.
Website: Sun Lakes State Park
Located in sunny, warm eastern Washington, this Washington state park is a great alternative to the iffy weather west of the mountains, and ideal for the less-serious camper, who enjoys having access to such staples as bathrooms or running water, and for those who are restricted by children or pets. State parks, such as Sun Lakes, offer a wide variety of amenities, activities, and resources for the outdoor lover in an enjoyable setting, without the stress of worrying what crucial item you forgot back at home. You can relax here; the convenience store across the park has everything you might have forgotten.
Sun Lakes State Park houses 4,027 acres of park land, including over 73,000 feet of freshwater shoreline. An abundance of lakes and wildlife fill the park, the main lake-spot being Deep Lake. Deep Lake is nestled in the back of the park, and can really only be accessed by car (it is much too far to walk). Here, park visitors can enjoy the warm lake waters, and even use watercraft as this lake has its own dock and boat launch. The main attraction of Deep Lake for many of the younger campers is the cliff jumping. Campers should be warned, however, that Deep Lake is not monitored nor life guarded, and cliff jumping can result in serious injury. There are several different heights to jump from, ranging between the easy 12 footer, to a larger 25 footer, and finally a ways down the path, a roughly 60 foot cliff, only for the very, very brave at heart!
Sun Lakes also boasts an extensive geological history, and is home to one of the most impressive wonders in North America. The park is situated at the foot of what is known today as “Dry Falls,” a now-dry cliff standing 400 feet high and 3.5 miles in width. This breath-taking overhang was once home to an enormous waterfall, which, at its peak, was about ten times larger than Niagara Falls. The entire area was also home to an enormous lake, called Glacier Lake Missoula, which was larger than all of the Great Lakes of the Midwest combined. Glaciers formed the hundreds of flat-top mountains, cliffs, and coulees in the area when the ice-dam that contained the lake ruptured and collapsed, causing what is known to many today as the great Missoula flood. To give you an idea of the size of the lake, when it flooded, its water spread throughout the Idaho Panhandle, the Spokane river valley, and even put what is now our great BootsnAll Team in Portland, Oregon under 400 feet of water. Perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that these changes took place in the region in a matter of days or weeks.
With all the sunshine and beautiful scenery, any outdoor lover is bound to enjoy herself at Sun Lakes State Park!