If eastern Washington calls to you, Lyons Ferry State Park is sure to enthrall. Tree-shaded green lawns gracefully slope to the cooling waters of the Snake and Palouse rivers. The hills of the Palouse, on a landscape carved by powerful Ice Age floods, lie beyond the water.
This day-use park also may awaken your inner historian: In addition to its interesting geology, the park was long home to native people, including the Palouse Indian Tribe. Its history includes a visit by the 34-member Corps of Discovery that included Lewis and Clark, on their westward journey in October 1805. Later in the 19th Century, the park became the site of a ferry crossing that served the area for more than 100 years.
For those who want to relax and enjoy, the wide spot on the rivers is a lure for picnickers, boaters, swimmers and water sports fans, as well as anglers casting out for the catch of the day.
For more land-based activities in the area, bring bikes and ride the Columbia Plateau State Park Trail from Ice Harbor Dam to the Snake River Junction. Palouse Falls State Park, also in the region, offers spectacular views of Washington’s state waterfall. Camping is available at Lewis and Clark Trail State Park 45 minutes away.
Lyons Ferry is a 168-acre day-use park with more than 52,000 feet of shoreline at the confluence of the Snake and Palouse rivers. Lyons Ferry was named after the Lyons family, who for several years operated the ferry across the Snake River. The ferry service ran from 1860 to 1968, when it was replaced by a bridge.
Discover Pass: A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.
A pumpout facility is available, but it is managed by the Port of Columbia - Lyons Ferry Marina. It is a public marina on the Snake River with an accessible Edson pumpout and dump station. This facility is open from February to December.
Summer hours: Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Winter hours: Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
There is a $5 fee for using the pumpout which also has a dedicated slip available for pumpout usage.
Located at the confluence of the Snake and Palouse rivers, Lyons Ferry was the dividing point for the Ice Age floods after they carved the Palouse River canyons more than 13,000 years ago. From the confluence, the flood waters then went west into the Pasco Basin and east (upriver) to Lewiston, Idaho.
The Lyons Ferry area was home to a Palouse (Palus) Indian village. First written accounts of this village were documented by Lewis and Clark and the Corp of Discovery while passing through the area in October of 1805. Lyons Ferry was named for the ferry crossing that operated across the Snake River from 1860 until the late-1960s, when it was replaced by the existing bridge. In the fall of 1914, near present day Lyons Ferry State Park, the first Union Pacific Railroad locomotive crossed the Snake River on one of the largest bridges along the entire transcontinental route.
Lyons Ferry State Park is cooperatively managed by Washington State Parks and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The park opened to the public in 1971, and was operated by Washington State Parks until 2002, when operation was returned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 2015, operation of the park was transferred back to Washington State Parks.