Scenic USA - Washington

Palouse Falls

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Palouse Falls - Washtucna. Washington

Photo by Jim Stiles
Jim Stiles Photography

   Joining Washington's byway program in 2003, the Palouse Scenic Byway takes visitors through a most unique section of the state. The land is a collection of long rolling hills, dramatic quartzite buttes, beautiful farmland and a harsh scabland created 13,000 years ago by one of the world's most violent floods (Lake Missoula) in the West.
   The Palouse area is filled with friendly folks, either from its quaint towns or the home of Washington State University in Pullman. Covering just over 200 miles in and around Pullman, the byway leads to Steptoe Butte, Kamiak Butte and Bald Butte. These high rises offer panoramic views, as well as hiking trails and campsites.
   One of the state's most spectacular waterfalls is found on the byway. Here in the heart of Washington's scabland, the Palouse River drops 186 feet. Viewpoints are located all along the canyon rim, offering a variety of waterfall scenes. When the sunshine catches the fall's mist, as in this wonderful view, a Palouse Falls rainbow appears. The Palouse Falls, the highlight of the state park, is one of the must see stops on the byway. For waterfall fans, there are two more waterfalls about seven miles upstream, although Gildersleeve Falls and Little Palouse Falls are not nearly as impressive.

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