2019 Late Spring in The Palouse

The Palouse is a distinct geographic region covering about 4000 sq miles encompassing parts of north central Idaho, southeastern Washington, and, by some definitions, parts of northeast Oregon. It is characterized by gentle rolling hills covered with winter wheat and lentil fields. Ancient glaciers were responsible for the creation of this landscape. During the last several ice ages, glaciers advancing south from Canada ground up the bedrock as they passed over it, creating a fine rock dust known as glacier flour. The glacial flour washed out from the glaciers and accumulated in Glacial Lake Missoula. The Missoula Floods washed over eastern Washington and created several huge but temporary lakes. These lakes eventually drained and left behind monumental quantities of silt. Prevailing winds from the south west blew in the silt and dust to where it settled out into hills that look like giant sand dunes.

May-June is one of the best times to visit this area to experience and photograph the rolling hills, country barns, and old abandoned homes and sheds.

palouse map

Steptoe Butte State Park

High above the Palouse Hills on the eastern edge of Washington, Steptoe Butte offers unparalleled views of a truly unique landscape. The warm bluff stands out against soft hills of green and mauve, an occasional barn dotting the landscape. Colors seem to shift and change in the light. I consider it to be the #1 spot for photography in the region.

View from Steptoe Butte
View from Steptoe Butte
47°1’57.871″ N 117°18’16.023″ W
View from Steptoe Butte
View from Steptoe Butte
47°1’45.346″ N 117°17’59.737″ W
steptoe-butte-4
View from Steptoe Butte
47°1’53.709″ N 117°17’49.876″ W
Palouse from Steptoe Butte 05
Palouse from Steptoe Butte (2-image HDR)
47°1’53.709″ N 117°17’49.876″ W

The Palouse Barns

A number of farms have barns and some of them have been painted in bright red color. Here are my top 12 barn images:

Heidenreich Dairy Barn
Heidenreich Dairy Barn in Colfax
46°53’27.237″ N 117°19’58.248″ W
Colfax Red Barn
Colfax Red Barn
46°49’31.514″ N 117°19’26.663″ W
Colfax - Red Barn @ Sunset
Colfax Red Barn @ Dusk
46°54’47.368″ N 117°21’3.758″ W
Blaine Barn 02
Moscow/Blaine Barn
46°39’27.759″ N 116°58’59.217″ W
Palouse Country Barn 01
Palouse Country Barn at Uniontown at Sunrise
46°31’47.528″ N 117°5’6.572″ W
Pullman Red Barn 01
Pullman Red Barn & Windmill
46°46’30.9″ N 117°17’30.358″ W
Dahmen Barn 01
Dahmen Barn
46°32’38.889″ N 117°5’30.796″ W
Dahmen Barn Fence 01
Dahmen Barn Fence
46°32’39.465″ N 117°5’33.46″ W
Dahmen Barn Bull
Dahmen Barn Bull
46°32’39.753″ N 117°5’27.913″ W
Colfax Grey Barn 02
Colfax Grey M Barn
46°50’54.528″ N 117°16’46.678″ W
St. John Red Barn 01
St. John Red Barn
47°8’27.499″ N 117°49’45.836″ W
Pullman Grey Barn 01
Pullman WSU Barn
46°45’53.186″ N 117°16’22.893″ W
Red Barn Farms 01
Red Barn Farms
46°34’38.942″ N 117°9’1.9″ W
Colfax Grey Barn 01
Colfax Grey Barn
46°53’45.859″ N 117°20’2.453″ W

Abandoned Barns, Homes, and Grain Elevators

You will also encounter a few abandoned homes, grain elevators and barns while driving in The Palouse. Not sure how long these will last. Here are my favorites.

Pullman Granary 01
Pullman Granary along US 195
46°40’42.027″ N 117°11’40.981″ W
Albion - Abandoned Shed
Albion Abandoned Shed
46°48’29.304″ N 117°19’6.56″ W
Abandoned Palouse Farmhouse 01
Abandoned Farmhouse in Staley
46°39’56.026″ N 117°5’52.286″ W
Oakesdale Abandoned Home 01
Abandoned Farmhouse in Oakesdale
47°7’23.12″ N 117°15’56.908″ W
Endicott Barn 01
Seems like an abandoned barn in Endicott
46°57’48.837″ N 117°39’17.314″ W

The Lonely Trees of Palouse

While driving along various rural roads in the Palouse, you will encounter lonely trees that stand out in the landscape. Key is to capture them when the light is perfect.

Palouse Lonely Tree 03
Colfax Lonely Tree
46°51’10.062″ N 117°14’20.338″ W
Palouse Lonely Tree 04.jpg
Oakesdale Lonely Tree
47°4’46.03″ N 117°19’49.407″ W
Palouse Lonely Tree 02
Oakesdale Lonely Tree
47°2’9.762″ N 117°14’52.763″ W

The Palouse Farmland

Endicott Farm Road
Endicott Farm Road
46°57’27.702″ N 117°39’47.08″ W
Garfield Windmill in B&W
Garfield Windmill
46°58’34.905″ N 117°16’23.62″ W
Palouse Field 01
Pullman Winter Wheat Field
46°40’37.88″ N 117°12’48.574″ W

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