Palouse Thrills


EVER SINCE Lewis and Clark paddled down the Snake River back in 1805, word has been getting out about Southeast Washington’s splashy outdoor scene.

Dive right in with a hair-blowing jet-boat ride through Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (www.fs.fed.us/hellscanyon), the deepest gorge in North America.

On dry land, the pastoral roads of the Palouse and paved riverside paths of Clarkston are a cyclist’s dream. The 14-mile North Fork of Asotin Creek Trail (www.fs.fed.us/r6/uma) is popular among the fat-tire set, while Pullman’s annual Tour de Lentil (www.lentilfest.com) draws hundreds of road riders annually.

South of the Snake River, the Blue Mountains top out at 6,000 feet, inviting hikers and equestrians to roam their miles of wilderness trails. And through the deep canyons of this forested range flow some of the finest fly-fishing creeks in the state. When snowfall blankets the Blues, wax up the skis: Fields Spring State Park (www.parks.wa.gov) boasts five miles of tracked ski runs and a cozy backcountry warming hut near 4,500-foot Puffer Butte.

Yet another feather in the region’s cap: Othello’s annual Sandhill Crane Festival (www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org). Held each March, the event celebrates the arrival of large flocks of migrating sandhill cranes, which come to take roost in the sprawling wetlands of the nearby Columbia National Wildlife Refuge (www.fws.gov/columbia). —CRAIG ROMANO

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Read More About Southeast

Picturesque Palouse

Tucked in the heart of the rolling Palouse hills is Pullman, home to nearly 30,000 residents; Washington State University; a 4,500-pound bronze cougar; and, once a year, a very large bowl of chili.


Hells Bent

THERE’S NO CONTEST when it comes to the depths of Hells Canyon’s black-and-buff walls.


A Thousand Words

Touring the Palouse with camera in hand.


From our Archives

Down South

Natural and man-made wonders in the Palouse


Hells Yes

PUNCTUATED BY ANCIENT rock formations, roaming wildlife, and reminders of days gone by, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is deeper than the Grand Canyon, and nearly as remote.


Day Pass

Dabble in Dayton’s diversions.


Scenic Byway

Water, 200 vertical feet of it, shoots down a sheer rock face and crash-lands in a fury of splashes. This is breathtaking Palouse Falls, made all the more dramatic by the fact that it’s tucked away in this hilly agricultural region.


Wheyside Attractions

Although best known for waves of grain, the Palouse has fostered other edible delights, too, including baked goods, fine cheeses, and even lentil ice cream.


Palouse Thrills

EVER SINCE LEWIS AND CLARK paddled down the Snake River back in 1805, word has been getting out about Southeast Washington’s splashy outdoor scene.


Great Lengths

KNOWN FOR its fertile rolling hills and land-grant universities, the southeastern region has more to offer than just amber waves of grain.


Find Out More

Please visit our Tourism Partners


Ritzville Chamber of Commerce

509-659-1936

Clarkston Chamber of Commerce

800-933-2128

Dayton Chamber of Commerce

800-882-6299

Hells Canyon Visitor Association

877-774-7248

Pomeroy Chamber of Commerce

877-353-0118

Pullman & the Palouse

800-365-6948

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