Friday, December 4, 2009

Sun Lakes State Park & Dry Falls

Sun Lakes State Park was my favorite camping destination in my post-teen years. Sun Lakes was about a 4 hour drive from my location on the west side of the Cascades, in the Skagit Valley.

The campground at Sun Lakes could have a slightly crowded feeling, but I never minded. The campground wasn't the attraction. The beach and the lake, all day long, was the fun thing.

And as the sun went down on a hot day a very strong wind would be an added attraction. Something to do with the canyon's walls and dropping temperatures causing some effect, is it a Venturi effect? I don't remember. What I do remember is watching tents blown over and people panicking who did now know a strong wind was going to arrive.

I do not recollect the park ranger's giving warnings about the wind.

Sun Lakes State Park covers 4,027 acres with 73,640 feet of shoreline. The park is near the base of Dry Falls. Believed to be the biggest waterfall the world has ever known, 10 times bigger than Niagara. Dry Falls is now a 400 feet high cliff, 3.5 miles wide.

I remember my brother and me having fun exploring one of the small coulees (that is Washington speak for canyon) and we ran into a ranger who told us we should go no further because he'd just seen a lot of rattlesnakes in the direction we were headed.

At Sun Lakes you can boat, fish, swim, golf, hike, ride horses or just sun bathe. Sun Lakes State Park is on Route 17 at the head of the Lower Grand Coulee. At the start of the Lower Grand Coulee you'll find Soap Lake.

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