It’s not every day that one gets to explore the beginning and end of an entire section of river, but today guests aboard National Geographic Sea Lion did just that. Our morning began with a stunning bus ride to Palouse Falls State Park, where geology and grasslands were on full display. Layers of Columbia River Basalt Group hint at a story that appears in full frame when Palouse Falls comes into view. A cataract created by the ancient Ice Age floods, Palouse Falls provides a contemporary vision of a cataclysm long since passed. Water plunging nearly 200 feet into a flood-carved gorge was explored from the opposite end by Zodiac. A diverse array of birds, mammals, and anthropological sites dot the canyon landscape of the Palouse River.

Traveling farther up the Snake River, guests were offered the opportunity to traverse the locks at Little Goose Dam, giving them an up close, personal experience with the manufactured concrete clots throttling the once mighty Snake.