White Tail Falls was a waterfall on the Columbia River in northeastern Washington, and a local landmark in Twin Peaks, due northwest of the town center near White Tail Mountain.

At six hundred feet, the falls were the third-highest in the United States, even taller than Niagara Falls (though not as wide), with a flow rate of two hundred forty-eight million gallons per hour. The waterfall was a popular destination for tourists to the region. A local fable said that those who fell in love within earshot of the falls would remain so for all time.[1][2]


White Tail Falls was created as a result of the Okanagan subcontinent colliding with North America, approximately one hundred million years ago.[2]

In the winter of 1942, an unidentified man was rescued while attempting to swim the rapids beneath the waterfall, and treated for frostbite at Calhoun Memorial Hospital.[1]

In the mid-twentieth century, J.J. Horne built the Great Northern Hotel resort and spa on a bluff directly overlooking the falls.[3]

Every July, the Twin Peaks Independence Day celebration included an inner-tube race on the river at the bottom. Occasionally, swimmers were killed attempting to ride down the falls in a barrel.[2]

As of 1989, the Twin Peaks Chamber of Commerce offered bus tours to the waterfall at 3:00 p.m. daily, departing from Town Hall.[2]

In February 1990, exactly one year after his daughter Laura disappeared, Leland Palmer shot himself while sitting in his parked car near the falls.[4]

Behind the scenes Edit

The scenes featuring the waterfall were filmed at Snoqualmie Falls, located on the Snoqualmie River between Snoqualmie and Falls City, Washington.



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