2017 IAFI Fall Field Trip & Membership Meeting
Sep 29 @ 8:00 am – Sep 30 @ 5:00 pm

The 2017 annual Fall Field Trip and Membership Meeting and the semi-annual Board of Directors meeting will be Sept 29 and 30 in Soap Lake, WA, the lake of healing waters (Smokiam), located in the original plunge pool of the Lower Grand Coulee. The membership meeting and tour is hosted by the IAFI Lower Grand Coulee Chapter. Just as for the 2009 Fall Membership Meeting and Tour, the City of Soap Lake and the members of the Lower Grand Coulee Chapter are looking forward to welcoming the members and guests of the Ice Age Floods Institute.

The headquarters for this year’s Fall event is the Soap Lake Resort, which includes Don’s Restaurant, the Inn at Soap Lake and the Notaras Lodge.  Friday afternoon, the registration table will be set up in the Patio at Don’s Restaurant from 4 PM through 6:45 PM.  Your packets for the membership meeting and the tour will be at the registration table.  The Annual IAFI Membership meeting will be held in the Ballroom/Banquet Room of Don’s Restaurant (enter from Main Avenue).  The Membership Meeting will begin at 7 PM followed by the planned program. 

Early Saturday morning, the registration table will again be available from 6:30 to 8 AM in the Patio at Canna Street and Main Avenue near where the buses will be loading.  Also, Don’s Restaurant will be open to serve breakfast at a reasonable price during this time, so you do not have to board a bus hungry.

There is a limit of 150 seats for the Membership Meeting on Friday evening and 140 seats on the buses for the Fall Tour on Saturday, so please submit your registration or register online early.  Priority for each event will be given to IAFI members.  The early registration rate for the 2017 Fall Tour is $65 for IAFI members and is $75 for non-members.  After September 5, registration will be $75 for IAFI members and $85 for non-members. Please indicate on the Field Trip Registration form if you are planning to attend the 2017 Fall Membership Meeting and Program on Friday evening.

The Fall Tour will have a number of stops along the way to view and learn about the numerous Ice Age Floods features and geology that dominate the area. We will first travel east, then north to the view the landscape along Pinto Ridge Road and at Summer Falls Park at the upper end of Billy Clapp Lake (Long Lake Coulee).  We plan a box-lunch on the lawn at the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Arrival Center.  After lunch, we will travel southward through the Grand Coulee to the Dry Falls Interpretive Center and then through the Lower Grand Coulee to the Lake Lenore Caves with the last stop on the Ephrata fan.

Room reservations can be made at the Masters Inn and the Soap Lake Resort, and rates are reduced for IAFI members.  Recreation vehicle and camp sites are available at two locations – the city’s East Beach Smokiam Campground and the Smokiam Resort at the north end of the Soap Lake.

Notaras Lodge – Soap Lake Resort

For reserving your room in Soap Lake, please visit the following websites:

  • Soap Lake Resort – www.soaplakeresort.comIAFI members: please use promo code “iceage15” (this applies to any member’s stay within the period from September 25 through October 5, 2017.  So, come and enjoy an early Fall vacation at Soap Lake.
  • Masters Inn – www.mastersinnsoaplake.comIAFI members: please use promo code “iceage” when making your reservation online.

For an RV space and/or campsite, please visit the following websites:

  • City of Soap Lake Smokiam Campground – www.cityofsoaplake.orgrates are listed under the places tab; no reservation required; when arriving, choose your space, put money in envelope, etc.  There should be a camp host onsite.
  •  Smokiam RV Resort – www.smokiamrvresort.comalso includes cabins and tepees for lodging; book your reservation by phone or online.

For information about the Soap Lake area, please visit the following web sites:

Healing Mud Baths

Tentative Schedule of Activities
Friday, 9/29  9 AM-4:30 PM – IAFI Fall Board of Directors Meeting w/ lunch in the Ballroom/Banquet Room at Don’s Restaurant
Friday, 9/29  7 PM – IAFI 2017 Fall Membership Meeting & Program in the Ballroom/Banquet Room at Don’s Restaurant – “Fire; Ice; and Megafloods — The Geologic Formation of the Grand Coulee” – Gene Kiver will present some of the observations and ideas developed with Bruce Bjornstad during some of their visits to the Grand Coulee that are also summarized in “On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods, the Northern Reaches”
Saturday, 9/30 6:30 AM – Breakfast at Don’s Restaurant or J & J’s Diner, Soap Lake WA
Saturday, 9/30  7:30 AM – Assemble and Load Buses on Canna Street north of Main Avenue for the IAFI 2017 Fall Tour from Soap Lake WA
Saturday, 9/30  8 AM – 5 PM – IAFI 2017 Fall Tour of the Plateau area between Crab Creek and Coulee City, the Grand Coulee Dam area, and the Grand Coulee south to the Ephrata Fan.
Saturday, 9/30  5:30 PM – – Supper on your own – –
Saturday, 9/30 7-11 PM – Artist’s Reception (Open House) at Fire on Main Gallery, 410 East Main Avenue, Soap Lake WA
Saturday, 9/30 7:30 PM – World premier play at the Masquers Theater – “Dinner Before Dawn”
Sunday, 10/1  2 PM – World premier play at the Masquers Theater – “Dinner Before Dawn” Go to for more information and tickets.

Come a day or two early or stay an extra day or two to enjoy Soap Lake and to visit nearby areas such as the Moses Coulee, the Waterville Plateau and/or the Drumheller Channels.

Changing the Course of the Columbia River Fall Field Trip
Oct 7 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

The Palouse Falls Chapter is offering a guided bus tour this fall, titled “Changing the Course of the Columbia River.”  Our 2017 bus tour explores important sites on and around Saddle Mountain, south of State Route 26 between Othello and Vantage.  Beginning with a drive through the Drumheller Channels, which Bretz described as

a marvelous region of scabland buttes and knobs, canyoned channels, rock basins interrelated in a complex unparalleled elsewhere, even in the scablands,”  

and then south to the mountain and the first of three landslides to view.  Along the north side of the mountain, we will visit the ghost town of Corfu and follow the diverted ice age Columbia River to Beverly.  After passing through Sentinel gap, a BBQ lunch and tour awaits us at Ginko Forest Winery.  

Once lunch is complete, we will work our way back along the Hanford Reach National Monument area on the south side of the mountain, and even stop at the top of Saddle Mountain for a spectacular view of the Drumheller Channels, the Corfu landslide and more.  More recent history is visible via the site of a Nike missile site that was active during the cold war with Russia. Once we have taken it all in, we return to Othello through some of the Othello channels.

Included: Hot lunch; snacks and drinks; guidebook.

Prices are as follows:
$70 for IAFI Members, with first priority;
$80 for non-IAFI members;
$40 for students and teachers.

Registration forms are available for download. Deadline is September 30, 2017.

For your convenience, Wheatland Express will have pick-up and drop-off sites in Colfax, LaCrosse, Washtucna, and Hatton Coulee. You will need to indicate that you request this option on the registration form. Buses will leave Othello promptly at 9:10a.

A (free) pre-trip traveling lecture series of the same name is also available, see the “Events” tab for the variety of locations to choose from.

Oct 7 @ 9:30 am – Oct 8 @ 6:00 pm

Registration Form,#43, Castle Lake and Giant Arch Cave Hikes, October 7 & 8, 2017

Two hikes on two days are scheduled in the Upper Grand Coulee area – Castle Lake Basin and Giant Cave Arch; you can participate in one hike or both hikes. Hike leaders are Gene Kiver and Bruce Bjornstad.  Hikes are limited to 30 participants each.  First hike is the Castle Lake Basin Hike and is scheduled for Saturday, October 7; it is near the east end of the massive Great Cataract Group and is about 3.5 miles round trip.  The plunge pool lake and the potholed bench above Deep Lake are reached by an overland walk and descent across the Castle Lake cataract via two sturdy iron ladders (built mid last century during the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project).  You can view some of the hike area on Bjornstad’s YouTube Ice Age Floodscape YouTube Channel Castle Lake Cataract. 

The Sunday, October 8 event is the Giant Cave Arch hike.  It is a rock shelter cave located in a remote canyon on the west side of the upper Grand Coulee.  The hike is about 3 miles long and includes discussion and observation of Steamboat Rock and deltas that formed in former Glacial Lake Columbia.

AGE  LIMITATION: Young adult’s ages 12-16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult during the hike; no children under the age of 12 are permitted.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR HIKE:  a hiker should be in good physical shape and be capable of hiking up to 6 miles, sometimes over rugged terrain.  A hiker should not have serious heart or vertigo problems.

ITEMS TO BRING WITH YOU:  Good shoes, water, snacks, lunch, appropriate clothing for variable weather and other conditions, protection from the sun, emergency items, cameras, and binoculars are strongly recommended.  Walking poles might be helpful.

CAMPING:  Overnight camping is available at Sun Lakes or Steamboat Rock state parks for those wishing to participate in both hikes.  Motels are also available in nearby Grand Coulee or Soap Lake.  More information will be sent to registrants.  A Discover Pass is required for all parked vehicles.  

Pets are not allowed on the hike(s).


Looking forward to seeing you on the hike trails.