Many different day trips can be crafted over The Palouse Scenic Byway. Below are two full-day trips and one half-day trip for you to consider. Each of these trips starts and ends in Pullman, but of course you can start or end anyplace along the byway. Silvered barns stand long abandoned as rough-legged hawks lazily circle above. Celebrated for its hundreds of miles of undulating hills, the sculpted landscape changes from vivid spring greens to amber autumn golds with the passing of the seasons. This area holds the largest concentration of wheat per acre in the world and 30% of the worlds lentils are grown here. The land hosts waterfalls, columnar basalt rock utcroppings, and rural communities nestled in sudden valleys. Magnificent buttes give way to panoramic vistas, and the rolling horizon seems to go on forever.

Day Trip 1

Palouse Falls State Park
Start in Pullman, the hub of the byway, and travel north on US-195 to Colfax. Stop and see the Codger Pole, the world’s tallest chainsaw sculpture. Then travel west on SR-26 to Dusty and LaCrosse. Stretch your legs at Pampa Pond (turn left on Fleming Road). The “pond” is actually a three-acre lake and a great fishing spot for rainbow trout. Continue west and turn south on SR-261 to Palouse Falls State Park. The falls cascade 198 feet into a round salt-rock canyon. On your return trip, turn north on LaCrosse Airport Road and stop to see the small cluster of historical basalt houses and cabins built between 1934-1936 (Scharpenberg Rd). Stop in Colfax for a delightful snack and something hot or cold to drink at Fonk’s Coffeehouse.

Day Trip 2

Steptoe Butte
Travel north on SR-27 to Palouse. Continue to Oakesdale and check the progress on the restoration of the J.C. Barron Flour Mill, built in 1890. Continue North to see the Tekoa Train Trestle to the John Wayne Trail and backtrack to SR-271 to Rosalia. The Visitor Center is a historic Texaco gas station. Visit the Steptoe Battlefield and turn south on US-195 and follow the signs to Steptoe Butte. Drive to the top for spectacular views of the Palouse hills. Return to 195 south to Colfax. Turn east on SR-272 to Palouse and go back in time at the Roy Chatters Newspaper and Printing Museum. Before returning to Pullman, turn off SR-27 to Kamiak Butte. Pine Ridge Trail to the top is a birding extravaganza and you watch the sun set over the undulating hills before heading back. End your day with a visit to one of the wineries or pubs in Pullman.

Half Day Trip

Artisans at the Dahmen Barn
From Pullman take SR-194 to Almota and stop at Boyer Park to hike or bike along the Snake River Trail. Two miles up the road is Lower Granite Dam offering fish viewing rooms. Return to Pullman, then turn south on US-195 to Colton and Uniontown. Stop at Artisans at the Dahmen Barn, a restored dairy barn surrounded by a fence made from more than 1000 wagon wheels. Travelers are invited to watch regional artists at work. Head down the road to see the historic St. Boniface Catholic Church built in 1904. The church houses the original stained glass windows and more. After returning to Pullman swing by the WSU Creamery to take home a round of Cougar Gold Cheese.