Kamiak Butte trails offer opportunity for hiking, camping and exploring

Hannah Lambert, Evergreen reporter

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Located just 10 miles outside of Pullman, Kamiak Butte has been a recognized National Natural Landmark for almost five decades.

Tim Myers, director of Whitman County Parks Department, said part of Kamiak’s beauty is that it offers a great look at the nature of the Palouse and that, for this reason, many people hike the butte on a regular basis.

“Depending on the time of the year, there are a lot of flowers and birds,” he said.

Myers said that on a daily basis the parking lot holds anywhere between two and 20 cars.

“Some are there for a picnic or kids using the playground, but a majority are there to hike,” he said.

Kamiak also includes seven campsites. Currently, Meyers said no open campfires are allowed, as the dry weather presents a greater fire risk. However, visitors can still use a gas grill or charcoal to cook.

In June, the park opened a new trail that branches off the well-traveled Pine Ridge Trail. The new path, named the West End Primitive Trail, was nothing more than a deer trail whenDoug Flansburg came across it 25 years ago. Flansburg maintained it until the board walked the trail and decided to include it in the park.

Myers said that the people he has talked to enjoy the trail as an addition because for people who hike Kamiak regularly it offers diversity to their routine.

Dogs are not allowed on the West End Primitive Trail in order to protect wildlife and offer hikers a different experience, he said.

Susan Stokes has lived in Pullman for six years and said that she hikes Kamiak three or four times a year.

“I was looking for the woods,” Stokes said.

Her favorite part is the view of the peak, “where the woods end and the fields begin,” she said.