William’s Lake Plunge Pool

Just off William’s Lake Road, between William’s and Badger lake lies the William’s Lake plunge pool. Cheney’s Mayor Tom Trulove signed a purchase and sale agreement to purchase 15 acres of land containing the plunge pool. The purchase was important because the site generates tourism along the National Ice Age Flood Trail.

It’s amazing that the whole park used to be one big waterfall. During the massive floods, water was flowing over a cliff and eroded the base. Since the water was moving so fast and was carrying objects like pebbles and rocks, the land receded back and scoured the basalt to form the plunge pool. Multiple floods caused the erosion to become even more rapid and intense. The waterfall kept receding back and formed the crescent shaped cataract that can be seen at William’s Lake today.

The repeated cataclysmic outbursts of glacial Lake Missoula made William’s Lake plunge pool what it is today. As the floods ate away the basalt and formed a plunge pool, many other unique features were being carved out all around William’s Lake and the scablands from the massive floods.


Williams Lake Plunge Pool

Williams Lake Plunge Pool

Larry Cebula is standing on the cataract, or where the water would have been cascading over during the ice age floods. The plunge pool is the low lying area filled with vegetation and basaltic gravel. | Creator: Flood Explorer Team View File Details Page

Plunge pool erosion at the base of a waterfall

Plunge pool erosion at the base of a waterfall

Creator: Judy McMillan (EWU) modified from http://npshistory.com View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Kelsey Gardner, “William’s Lake Plunge Pool,” Ice Age Floods Explorer, accessed October 22, 2017, http://floodexplorer.org/items/show/48.

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