A couple years ago, at the end of summer, I decided to take a short road trip over to Eastern Washington to visit Palouse Falls State Park. I had never been (hard to believe since I lived over there for 6 years) but it was calling my name. I decided to make the trip worth it by seeing how many other little hikes I could hit on my way over. I have driven back and forth from the west to east side so many times but had never stopped at some of these popular road side “leg stretchers”.
I made a loop by driving over the beautiful Stevens Pass (HWY 2), through Leavenworth and Wenatchee and caught SR28 to Quincy and Soap Lake. From there, I took a quick jaunt up SR17 to the Lenore Lakes Caves.
From there, I drove back down toward Moses lake and got on I-90 to SR 395 and headed south to Palouse Falls State Park. Being the end of the summer, the falls were not exactly rushing. BUT, I did have the place mostly to myself.
It was getting late in the day and I opted not to stay at the state park but continue south towards Walla Walla and a KOA on along the way. This has got to be one of the prettiest drives through “amber waves of grain” I have been on. Love old barns? It’s a must do.
The KOA had nice green grass to pitch my tent on and a shower in the morning. I stopped in Walla Walla for breakfast at the Maple Counter Café where I had a delicious omelette.
Then, it was back on the road on SR12 to the Tri-Cities and up to the Columbia to see those wild horses on the hill. What I lovely view of the Columbia!
After a detour eastbound because you can’t go west from here, I crossed the river and stopped at the Gingko Petrified Forest State Park to try out a little “desert” hiking. Thank goodness I had my water bottle, I didn’t realize you could wander for 5+miles here.
Then, it was back on I-90 and heading home. Actually, I didn’t go home but joined a short backpacking trip to Spade Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. So, I guess this was a 5 hike, 3 night trip? Anyway, I hope to do another road trip like this but throw in a couple actual overnights IN Eastern Washington.
Have you visited these popular stops? Do you have others you like to visit to break up that long drive?