Palouse Scenic Byway

The desert land of central Washington recedes slowly and gives way to alpine forests, lakes and waterfalls. As you approach our state’s southeast corner, you’ll discover the wonderfully mesmerizing rolling wheat fields of the Palouse, some of the most productive farmland in the nation. Here you’ll find scenic beauty and people with the spirit of the resourceful pioneers who first settled these farming communities.

Thousands of acres of wheat blanket the rolling hills, and their color—from spring green to autumn gold—tells of the passing of the seasons. A viable agricultural region, the area holds the largest concentration of wheat per acre in the world. Barley, onions and 30 percent of the world’s lentils are grown here.

The Palouse is becoming famous for biking with everything from 35 miles of paved bike paths to full-on single track mountain biking, and some great hilly low traffic road riding. The land hosts waterfalls and sudden valleys. Magnificent buttes give way to panoramic views, and the horizon seems to go on forever.

Key points of interest:

  • Palouse Falls State Park – A remnant of the ice-age floods and Washington State’s Official Waterfall, Palouse Falls drops from a height of 198-feet with high volumes of water flow in spring and early summer. Palouse Falls State Park is a 105-acre camping park with a unique geology and history. The park offers a dramatic view of one of the state’s most beautiful waterfalls.
  • Steptoe Butte – High above the Palouse Hills on the southeastern edge of Washington, Steptoe Butte offers unparalleled views of a truly unique landscape. The warm quartzite bluff stands out against soft hills of green and mauve, an occasional barn dotting the landscape. Colors seem to shift and change in the light.