The Palouse is made up of
five counties in southeast Washington
State.† The Counties of the Palouse are; Adams,
Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, and Whitman.† They are shown in red on the map to the
You will come away from
the Palouse with the impression of a sea of grain crops blowing in the
breeze on what seems like endless rolling hills.
The largest cities in the
Palouse are Clarkston, Colfax, Dayton,
Othello,† Pomeroy, Pullman, and Ritzville.† For more information on any to these
cities click on the hot link in the green bar on the left side of this
The Palouse is named
after the Palouse Indians.† They were
a small tribe indigenous to the area.†
They were affiliated with the Nez Perce Tribe.
The first settlers here
found rich top soil, up to 100 feet deep.†
However, the 16 inch annual rainfall would not support crops.† The steep rolling hills were covered with
clump grass and cattle ranching seemed to be the best use of the land.
When eastern Europeans
arrived in the area they brought the knowledge of farming similar areas
from their homeland.† They planted
winter wheat and it grew well here and soon was the major crop in the
as it winds through the Palouse in southeastern Washington
sculpture in downtown Ritzville.
Palouse you canít help but notice the beautiful skies, the rolling Palouse
hills and the magnificent basaltic rock formations.† The image will remain in your mindís eye
With so much
to see we found it surprising that the City of Ritzville has gone to considerable
expense and effort to provide visitors with another memorable view, some
wonderful metal sculptures placed throughout the community.† It is a lovely stop in you travels to
take the time to see the art in this city.
Channeled Scab Lands
There are two types of
terrain in the Palouse, the steep rolling hills and the channeled scab
lands.† The channeled scab lands were
caused by the giant glacial lake which covered Montana
that was formed by a glacial ice dam through what is now Idaho.†
The lake was called Primitive Lake Missoula and it was the largest
body of fresh water that ever existed.†
When that ice dam melted
about fifteen thousand years ago it released a huge flood which gouged
enormous canyons in the basalt bedrock of the region.† A very striking example of this type of
Palouse Falls.† The falls drops 200 feet into a cirque
surrounded by sheer basaltic cliffs.†
You can find similar cliffs throughout the Palouse.
River drops over the falls about 46 miles west of Colfax.† Turn north from US Highway-12 onto WA-261
about 10 mi. north of Dayton
and go about 20 mi. to the park entrance.
From WA-26 turn south on
WA-260 about 42 mi. west of Colfax for 6 mi. then turn left (south) on
WA-261 for about 10 mi. to the park entrance.
The falls is in Palouse Falls State Park.† The park is about 20 mi. north of US-12 and
16 mi. south of WA-26 on WA-260 and WA-261.