The Palouse, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer.

The Palouse is made up of rolling hills covered in wheat and barley fields. This area was historically a prairie, so there were few trees to begin with. A few of these hills rise up well above the rest, remnants of a time when the region was more active volcanically.

Kamiak Butte is one such high point, located less than 10 miles north of Pullman. The north slope is covered by a lush and beautiful forest, protected as a county park for all to enjoy. The park offers a picnic area, a campground, and miles of trails that ascend the butte and follow the ridge to the summit. There are views in all directions including views of both Pullman and Moscow. It’s a great little oasis amidst the sea of farmland. While it’s certainly not wilderness by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a great place to watch wildlife and look for flowers. On yesterday’s walk, I came across a Mountain Lady’s Slipper, but was unable to get a good photograph.

Kamiak Butte is a good place to get away and enjoy nature. It’s close to Moscow and Pullman and caters to everyone from families to the outdoor enthusiast.