Take a hike: Sights to see in eastern Washington

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Take a hike: Sights to see in eastern Washington

ALEXANDRA GRAFF | Evergreen columnist

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Driving to Pullman from the west side of the state, it might be hard to recognize how beautiful the nature of this region can be. But with its rolling hills, fields of green and many bodies of water, eastern Washington offers a number of destinations that demand to be seen – especially during the summer.

Head north to Spokane and visit more than Chipotle or Red Robin. Twin Lakes is a recreation site that includes trails and camping throughout a gorgeous landscape. Hog Canyon Lake, another scenic spot in the area, includes beginner trails good for hiking as well as biking and lakeside picnic possibilities.

The WSU Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC) offers several relatively affordable outdoor excursions during the summer, including a hiking trip to Palouse Falls scheduled for May 31.

Palouse Falls is one of the best places to see the scenic beauty of the channeled scablands of eastern Washington. The area is a 105-acre state park that includes a 198-foot waterfall best seen at this time of year.

The park also includes tent camping spots for those who enjoy overnight excursions. Palouse Falls is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Pullman. Head west on Highway 26, turn left onto Highway 261 and continue until Palouse Falls Road comes into view.

Among other activities that the ORC offers are sunset paddle trips on the Snake River and beginner climbing trips to Granite Point. For groups and individuals alike, equipment rentals are available at the ORC. Rental prices, guidelines and trip information can be found online at orc.wsu.edu.

A waterfall four times as large as Niagara Falls exists in eastern Washington’s backyard. And although it’s dry now, the aptly named Dry Falls offer dramatic views of 400-foot-tall cliffs that were formed more than 15,000 years ago.

Dry Falls is part of the Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park, which is located about 45 minutes north of Moses Lake. It is perfect for those looking to venture out a bit farther. With 15 miles of hiking trails, water activities and camping, Dry Falls is a great destination for a weekend outing.

In recognition of National Trails Day, June 7 and 8 are “free entrance days,” when a Discover Pass is not required for state park access, overnight stays excluded.