On our way home from visiting family in Eastern Washington this past weekend, Daniel and I decided to visit Palouse Falls. Designated as Washington state’s official waterfall in 2014, the 198-foot waterfall is a stunning surprise amid the Palouse region’s arid rolling hills. When I mentioned our plans to my aunt, she grew concerned and warned us to stay away from the cliff’s edge. I thought she was being overly cautious until I did some research and found out that four people have died at Palouse Falls in the last two years, and 17 people have had to be rescued via helicopter.
I grew up hearing stories about Kamiak Butte. With an elevation of 3641 feet, it’s a forested island that towers above the rolling hills of wheat, alfalfa and barley so typical of the Palouse region. My parents are originally from the town of Palouse and have fond memories of hiking Kamiak Butte years ago. It’s one of the few options for hiking available in a region primarily dominated by rolling agricultural fields.