OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Commissioners would like to invite visitors to join them along, with the Thurston County Parks Department, in the grand opening ceremonies of the Deschutes Falls Park.
What: Deschutes Falls Park Grand Opening
When: September 1, 2017, 10:00 a.m. to noon
Location: Deschutes Falls Park, 25005 Bald Hill Road, Yelm WA
The opening ceremonies will include speakers, a ribbon cutting, and other activities. The park will then be open for visitors to explore the natural beauty of this park and surrounding area.
Thurston County has made minimal improvements to the site. There is a four foot high fence at the edge of the river gorge to help ensure the safety of visitors. A mobile home was also added to serve as a residence for a live-in caretaker. The site will be open as a “day-use” facility meaning no overnight camping will be allowed.
History and Geography:
Deschutes Falls Parks’ first owner was Charles Erb, who homesteaded the property in 1902. Later it would be owned by Frank and Helen Noreen during the 1920s who operated the site as a private park. The last private owner of the property was the William Pollman family, who owned the site from 1942-1992 and also operated the site as a privately-owned park; Thurston County purchased the Deschutes Falls property in 1992.
The 155-acre park earns the name Deschutes Falls for a 27 foot waterfall that spills into the Deschutes River. Water cascades into the river, where the banks rise to approximately 70 feet. The river then moves through a 400 foot gorge, and finally settles into a basin that is 300 by 150 feet. The portion of the Deschutes River that runs through the park has a series of small waterfalls visible to visitors.