You Can Get Gorgeous Rolling Hill Views On This Easy Washington Mountain Hike
A trip through the Evergreen State will make you feel like all of the world's nature probably thrives right here. It's home to some incredible peaks that top wish lists. But there's one particular butte that's straight out of a painting that should be on your list of the best places to visit in Washington state.
Steptoe Butte is a 3,612-foot "quartzite island" that sits majestically in the rolling Palouse Hills of Whitman County.
It contains some of the oldest rock in all of the Pacific Northwest, and the hills were formed thousands of years ago. Although this is a geological wonder in itself, it's what you can see on a hike up there that's bucket list-worthy.
You'll need a $10/day Discover Pass to park at the Steptoe Butte State Park. From there, a 6.4-mile roundtrip trek will take you to the pinnacle.
With an elevation gain of 925 feet, the trail is mostly a stroll along paved roads. Once you ascend to the top, you'll be blown away by the breathtaking views before you.
You'll be able to see lush farmlands of wheat, the Blue Mountains, the Big Bend Columbia River Valley to the west, and the Idaho Rockies to the east.
According to the Washington State Parks website, you can see as far as 200 miles from this spot!
Although this area is open to visitors throughout the year, the best time to make a trip is between March and October.
In spring, the vistas are a spectrum of lush greens when the wheat and barley are still young.
When the crops are up for harvest in the late summers, you'll see a minimalist's dream — beiges and browns abound.
The inspiring vistas look like green sand dunes. Although they are deceptively beautiful, they're also pretty steep, so much so that tractors sometimes tip over!
Sunrise and sunset are some of the most popular times to check this place out as the colors of the soft hills dance to the tune of the light.
Needless to say, this makes it a hot-spot for photography junkies.
After the hike, you can cool off at one of the first-come-first-serve picnic tables at this spot that comes with cooking braziers, perfect for a BBQ party.
Whether you're in Eastern Washington to check out the state's official waterfall — the Palouse Falls — in all its glory, or for snapping pictures inside this Instagrammable trippy school bus next to it, Steptoe is one of those spots you need to check off your Pacific Northwest list.
Difficulty: EasyLength: Approximately 6.4-miles out-and-back
Address: Colfax, WA
Why You Need To Go: This hike will take you to a 3,612-foot quartzite mountain from where you can get endless views of rolling hills that'll make you feel like you're in Tuscany!
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