Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is an astonishing place for RVers that features plenty of interesting history, a unique glacial landscape, activities galore, and almost 200 campsites including 41 sites with full hookups. Located in north-central Washington, three miles from Coulee City, the 4,024-acre Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is situated along the historic National Ice Age Floods Geologic Trail. The park was created between 1933 and 2002 with the purchase of 15 separate parcels of land and contains 12 freshwater lakes, including more than 70,000 feet of shoreline at Dry Falls Lake. Also known as Dry Falls State Park, the park was renamed Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park in order to fully appreciate the lake-laden landscape.
The landscape at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park was created 13,000 years ago by the massive flooding caused by the Ice Age and was originally the ancestral lands of the Coulee, as well as Colville Indian Tribes. The Ice-Age-sculpted landscape is incredible to view with deep gorges and blue water lakes. The 400-foot high by three and a half miles wide cliff known as Dry Falls is listed as the main feature in the Grand Coulee National Natural Landscape by the National Park Service. Dry Falls is an amazing lookout that once was a waterfall four times the size of present-day Niagara Falls. They call is the world's largest waterfall.
Activities at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park are sensational with opportunities for boating, watersports, hiking, wildlife viewing, and even playing on the 9-hole golf course. In addition to an interactive visitor’s center, there are several 1938 Civilian Conservation Corp structures to explore.
The weather at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is generally arid with little moisture throughout the year. Temperatures can range from the mid-70s and 90s in the summer months to the mid-30s and 50s during the winter. If you planning an RV road trip to Washington, the captivating natural wonder of the area makes this state park a must-see!
RV Rentals in Sun Lakes State Park
Transportation in Sun Lakes State Park
Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is accessed from Washington Route 17, which runs in a north to south manner. The drive from Coulee City is uneventful with little or no navigating problems if you are driving an RV or pulling a trailer.
If you are coming from Grand Coulee or Coulee Dam, you will need to drive along scenic Washington Route 155, which follows the shoreline of Banks Lake until you reach Coulee City and Route 17. Driving Route 17 to the park from the south is a little more difficult to navigate as the road traverses over and around several lakes. You will enter the park off of Route 17 onto Park Lane Road Northeast. Once inside the park, RVs and trailers will need to maneuver through several curves and turnoffs that lead to various places within the park before reaching the campground area.
The road to Dry Falls Lake is the longest drive and most difficult if you have a larger RV or trailer. If you are pulling a trailer, you may think about unhitching before making the drive on this road which has numerous curves and hairpin turns. The road to Deep Lake is an easier drive with fewer turns and the terrain is less undulating. There is also a road that will take you to the boat ramps at Park Lake.
An additional car or traveling by bike is preferred by most RVers and those pulling trailers. The main campground consists of seven loops which are connected by one two-way road that is narrow with curves for you to maneuver. The road out of the campground leads to Dry Falls Lake and can be congested at times during the high season with not only traffic but bicyclists too. Another road leads out of the main campground to an additional campground that contains campsites 58 through 88. If you are camping in the second campground you must stay to the left when the road branches off to Dry Falls Lake and the Umatilla Rock Trailhead.
Campgrounds and parking in Sun Lakes State Park
Campsites in Sun Lakes State Park
Sun Lakes-Dry Falls Campground
The main campground at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is spread out over nine loops which contain almost 200 campsites, including 41 full hookup campsites for RVs and trailers. The nine loops are connected by one road. Each campsite is furnished with a fire ring. RVs and trailers are limited to 65 feet in length.
There are no pull-through sites available and parking pads will require leveling in most campsites. RVs and trailers are limited to campsites 24 thru 49 and 58 thru 88, but the latter sites are closed from November 1st to April 15th of the following year.
Each loop within the campground contains flush toilets, showers, and freshwater drinking stations. Water is limited during the winter months to the entrance station for RVs, trailers, and tent campers. There is a dump station located near the entrance for RVs and trailers. You are encouraged to dump full holding tanks at the dump station before parking. Generators may be used from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Pets are welcome but must be restrained by a six-foot leash at all times within the campground. Reservations are available from mid-April to mid-September.
During the off-season, from October to April, most campsites are still open, but reservations are not available. That means if you want to stay at the campground during this time of the year sites are open on a first-come, first-served basis.
Seasonal activities in Sun Lakes State Park
Fishing is superb within Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park. There are 12 freshwater lakes open to fishing. You can use a motorboat to troll on Deep Lake and Park Lake. Other fishing opportunities are limited to the shoreline or fishing from a canoe, kayak, or belly boat. Rainbow trout are the predominant species of fish to catch within the park and the lakes are consistently stocked three times a year. Brown trout, smallmouth bass, perch, and an occasional walleye are also available to catch. Please check with Washington State Rules and Regulations for bag and size limit of catches.
Bring your bike in your rig if you are planning on spending some time at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park. Each of the major roads in the park to Deep Lake and Dry Falls Lake is ideal for biking. Each ride will take you through some of the most interesting landscapes created by the Ice Age when melting waters flooded the area to form the blue water lakes. Other biking opportunities include a nice ride around Park Lake; cruising the roads within the campground and the ride to Vic Meyer Lake is ideal for families. Watch for traffic while biking on the roads within the park area.
Watersports are plentiful when you take an RV trip to Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park. Opportunities for water fun will amaze you including swimming, motorized boating, kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, and wake boarding. There are two boat ramps for motorized boats at Park Lake and one boat ramp for motorized boats at Deep. Lake. Kayaking and canoeing are popular at all lakes but especially Dry Falls Lake. There is a swimming beach located at Park Lake and you can test your fortitude in the chilly waters at Deep Lake, Dry Falls Lake, and Perch Lake.
Exploring Dry Falls Visitor's Center
Dry Falls Visitor’s Center is a great place to visit to get an overview of the park’s geologic and cultural history. The center offers numerous ranger-led talks and hikes. The overlook at Dry Falls is a short walk where you will be treated to panoramic views of the numerous lakes and is a superb place to take photographs. The center is packed with interesting interactive exhibits that explain the importance of area including wildlife, marine life, geologic history, and the cultural history of the native Indian tribes that resided in this fabulous landscape.
Wildlife Viewing and Bird Watching
Wildlife and bird viewing are perfect in this unique landscape. Take your camera with you in the rig because there will be some incredible shots you will want to take of the fabulous wildlife in the area. Wildlife within the park includes bobcats, coyotes, deer, elk, raccoons, and marmots. Bird watching brings several exciting species to the park throughout the year, including several species of woodpeckers, herons, hawks, ospreys, quail, pheasant, geese, and eagles. Don’t be surprised to see hawks, ospreys, and eagles fishing the blue waters of the 12 lakes for small trout and perch.
Everyone should pack a good pair of boots in their camper to explore the natural landscape of Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park. The park offers more than 15 miles of hiking trails that wander through this geologic wonderland. Families will enjoy Boy Scout Trail which offers nice interpretive signage along the trail, as well as the five-mile loop trail to Umatilla Rock. Another superb hike within the park is the Caribou Trail which will take you to an overlook above Deep Lake. There are also trails to several of the other lakes within the park. You should check the visitor’s center for trail closures and conditions.