Photographer's Note

This was shot from High drive looking South, Below is US 195 that people drive heading to Pullman WA were WSU is located along the route are many smaller towns a view of beautiful farmland. Below were the ponds are that is a golf course back in the 70's that was farmland I remember watching people hang glide off high drive and landing in the field below there's trail father up that leads down to creek were we use to swim during the summers. Off to right is housing development that has pretty much wiped out the trees. All this in name of progress.


The Palouse Highway runs south from Spokane, Washington State and on to Oregon.

The Palouse is an area with rolling hills like sand dunes, created by glaciers and wind patterns in the Ice Age. It is now one of the most productive farming areas in the world, mostly wheat and lentils.

The best time to take this trip is in the late spring or early summer, when the hills are green and gold. In the winter it is a treeless waste of grey skies, snow, and mud, but at other times of year it is one of the most beautiful places anywhere. For a view, rent the bad Robin Williams movie "Toys"; the countryside scenes were filmed in the Palouse.

Most traffic south out of Spokane takes US 195 in Washington or US 95 in Idaho. But the best scenery by far is on Washington State Highway 27. Rand McNally is guilty of dereliction of duty for not marking this as a scenic route in their road atlas. It is a two lane paved road, suitable for any vehicle. Don't go too fast, as you will take some sharp corners, and slow-moving farm tractors use the road. Also, patches of ice linger in the hollows on cold mornings. The road winds very pleasantly over and around hills covered with wheat, past farmhouses, and through lovely farm towns.

South of Oakesdale you can turn off Washington State Highway 27 for the road leading to Steptoe Butte State Park (follow the signs). A road winds up the hill to the top, which affords a spectacular view of the entire region, looking like the Sahara in green and gold.

There may be some bed and breakfast places in some of the towns along the way, and there are plenty of hotels in Pullman, at the end of the highway.

South from Pullman you can continue on US 195 to the grim paper mill towns of Lewiston and Clarkston, then take Washington State Highway 129 south from Clarkston into the Blue Mountains. This is canyon country, with the road taking a long winding plunge down to the Grande Ronde River and up the other side. Be sure your car can handle long uphill stretches.

Now in Oregon, where it is Oregon State Highway 3, the road continues through the Blue Mountains and down into the Wallowa Valley, a beautiful place which was Chief Joseph's stomping grounds before the US Army chased his tribe out. At the south end of the valley is Wallowa Lake, gateway to the spectacular Eagle Cap wilderness.

Oregon State Highway 82 leads out of the valley through more wonderful scenery and farm towns to La Grande, on I-84 and the old Oregon trail.

chrissty, phwall, gracious, rodgerg, Floydian, danos, gunbud, jusninasirun, fulvio52 has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Jason Orosco (vmf-214) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 293 W: 2 N: 475] (1648)
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