This time its a different kind of trip for us. We wanted to go see some places which are not big tourist locations. So we decided to go to Palouse in Eastern Washington. Its a neat but a wet drive from Seattle and in 3.5 hrs we were at our first stop the Paluse Falls State park.
PALOUSE FALLS STATE PARK
Palouse Falls State Park is more than a 100 acre of camping park with a unique geology and history. Falling from an height of 200 ft, Palouse falls is one the most beautiful falls that the state of washington has to offer. The Palouse River started as a small river that accommodated huge flows of water when Lake Missoula flooded (several times). Lake Missoula was a lake which was created during the last ice age about 12,000 years ago. The lake was created when the Cordilleran Ice Sheet blocked the flow of the Clark Fork River and it reached depths of 2,000 feet deep (609 m). The lake stretched from Idaho into western Montana. Its volume was as large as both Lake Erie and Ontario combined. Several times the dam was broken and then rebuilt. Each breaking of the dam resulted in a flood of mammoth proportions. The flow of the flood waters was said to be equal in force to 60 Amazon Rivers. It was these floods that created the large canyon and current path of the Palouse River.
Palouse Falls State Park WA 99143
Directions: From Hwy 26 to Pullman turn S on 260 at the city of Washtucna. Go less than 10 mi and turn L on 261, it is well marked. After a few minutes turn left on Palouse Falls Rd. Proceed for 2 miles to the park.
All the way it was raining.When we reached to the park it was drizzling every 10mins. Walking on the trial was easy.Spent an hour. Palouse Falls takes on a thinner horse tail type of drop in the summer. There are trails that leads from the overlook and winds its way to the brink of the falls and unusual basaltic castle on the top of the falls.If you are with kids, make sure they do not go very close the edge.
Upper view point: To reach this viewpoint follow any of several footpaths to the point just to the left side of the falls. Fryxell Overlook Point: From the Parking area it is a short walk of about 400 yards (.3 km).
LOWER GRANITE LOCK DAM
After spending an hour at the Palouse falls we were headed towards Palouse city. On our way we stopped at the Lower Granite Lock Dam. It is a hydroelectric concrete gravity dam on the Snake River, and bridges Whitman County and Garfield County, Washington. The dam is located 22 miles (35 km) south of the town of Colfax, and 35 miles (56 km) north of Pomeroy. If you want to visit this dam, make sure if its open on the days when you go there. Because we went on a saturday when it was closed and we did not know that. There were lot of people fishind and the dam as such was not that appealing to me. I would not go there for a second time.
Since the weather was not so cooperative, we decided to call it a day and headed towards our hotel for our night stay.
SUPER 8 HOTEL IN MOSCOW:175 Peterson Dr Pullman Hwy & Peterson Dr Moscow, ID 83843-2178 US Phone:208-883-1503
SNAKE DANCER EXCURSIONS
Jet boat tours is one of the activities that we wanted to do for a long time. Fortunately we selected the Snake river as our Jet boat destination. Our tour was supposed to start at 8a.m,but they postponed it to 9a.m. The office was closed so we had to wait for an hour in the parking lot. Lesson learnt,when we book any advance tour,make sure u call them the day before to see if there are any last hour time changes.
1/2 Day Jet Boat Tour.120 miles round trip with lunch.It was a 5 hours tour
Location: 1550 Port Drive Suite B, P.O. Box 318, Clarkston, WA 99403. Phone: 509-758-8927 Website
STEPTOE BUTTE STATE PARK
From far it looks rather a large hill in the middle of nowhere, but when you get closer to it, Steptoe Butte seems to sprout out of the earth and present itself as a wonderful opportunity to people traveling through Eastern Washington. Steptoe Butte State Park is a 150-acre, 3,612-foot-tall natural monument. Thimble-shaped, the quartzite butte looms in bald grandeur over the prevailing flat lands. The park is famous for its stark, dramatic beauty and the panoramic view it provides of surrounding farmlands, the Blue Mountains, and other neighboring ranges and peaks. From the top of the butte, the eye can see 200 miles. It is a must stop if you are driving from Spokane or Eastern washington. This offers a panaromic view of the palouse corn fields. This is a favorite spot for many photographers. The best time of year to come through is the spring and summertime.
Miles and Miles of corn fields along the road in this area offered some awe-inspiring scenic views. Its a feast for your eyes. Wherever you look, you feel there is a grandeur, beauty and the colors are amazing. All along the route you can see so many barns and they offer some wonderful photographic opportunity. Every frame that your eyes sees is worth taking a picture that you can frame. The weather was perfect with blue skies and a little bit of cloud to offer some wonderful views. I loved the drive and would definitely go back sometime in the future.
Directions: 12 miles north of Colfax.It’s pretty easy to find if you make it from US 195. South of Steptoe Battlefield State Park on Highway 195. Park is open year round for day use only.Park hours: Summer:6a.m to 6p.m Winter:6 a.m to 6 p.mLocation: Steptoe Butte Road Oakesdale WA 99158 Phone:509-549-3551 I used this Map for the Scenic Byway. Driving direction for this whole trip.