Palouse River & Snake River

Oct 05, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

At dawn on his glorious autumn morning we are dropping anchor at the confluence of the Snake and Palouse Rivers. Many beautiful adventures are in store for us here. Giant floods that occurred toward the end of the Ice Age roared across a large area of eastern Washington, washing away the topsoil and ripping into the layers of Columbia River basalts that covered the land as far as six million years ago. A result of these astonishing floods was the spectacular Palouse River Canyon and Palouse Falls.

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About the Author

Grace Winer


Geologist and naturalist Grace grew up among woods, rivers, and mountains, loving the outdoors, nature and rocks. After high school she became a Registered Nurse and was soon studying midwifery at Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital in London, England. Back in the United States she served as an officer in the USAF Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War. In a major career change, Grace turned to the Earth Sciences and received degrees in geology (BS and MSc) from Montana State University. Funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society, Grace pursued her master’s degree in Alaska’s remote Pribilof Islands. In her study of basaltic volcanism in the Bering Sea region, she investigated the volcanic evolution of St. Paul Island, creating a geologic map, and predicting volcanic hazards in the event of a future eruption. Her knowledge of the Pribilof Islands and the Bering Sea region led to her work as a consulting geologist on St. George Island for NOAA’s Pribilof Restoration Project.

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