Beauty of Palouse is worth exploring

Despite its small size, Pullman offers wide range of activities



People perform yoga on paddleboards during last year’s Palouse Outdoor Festival at Wawawai County Park.

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen columnist

When I first moved to Pullman from the sprawling city of Las Vegas, Nevada, I realized the constant promise of entertainment I’d grown up around was a bit different here.

Pullman offers a wide variety of enjoyable activities but it takes some searching to find them.

Both Moscow and Pullman host farmers markets from May until October. Moscow’s Farmers Market runs 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday and displays a number of vendors for those looking to spend a bright summer morning wandering down Main Street.

Even if you don’t plan to buy produce, there are jewelry, woodworking and art booths that are both interesting and a unique insight into some of the locals’ passions. Nearby stores open their doors around 11 a.m., so once you’ve seen everything at the market, you can stop by a bookstore or maybe the apothecary.

Pullman’s Farmers Market offers the same opportunities in a smaller setting 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday in the Spot Shop parking lot on Kamiaken Street.

The nice weather can also be great motivation to head outside or to the Outdoor Recreation Center, where you can rent equipment like kayaks, paddle boards, fishing poles and more.

Arturo Gavilanes, coordinator for the challenge program and climbing wall at University Recreation, said the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail running from downtown Pullman to Moscow is easy enough for beginning hikers and bikers to journey along.

He also recommends checking out Kamiak Butte, the Snake River or Palouse Falls, where you could also spend time hiking, fishing, kayaking or just enjoying the sunshine.

If you’re willing to venture out further, Wawawai County Park is a quaint, serene location a few miles away from Granite Point.

The picnic tables beside the Snake River offer much-needed shade and a beautiful landscape to look at, and there’s an easy walking path winding up the hill that overlooks the river. There are camping spots up for rent in the park as well for those wishing to spend a night or two.

For those who want to stay close to campus, the Palouse Outdoor Festival will be held at the park Aug. 20-26 with a number of free opportunities, classes and demonstrations.

“What we do is marketed mainly for college students,” Gavilanes said. “There’s a lot for them to choose from.”

He said the easiest way to find out what’s new at the ORC is to stop by, since there is an ever-changing schedule of outdoor trips, free classes including Zumba and yoga, sunset paddling, bouldering and bike rides through Moscow Mountain.

If outdoorsy activities aren’t your thing, Gavilanes said he enjoys exploring downtown Pullman since there are almost always new businesses or events.

One of his favorite pastimes is getting a scoop of ice cream from the Daily Grind coffee shop downtown.

“I would say just make sure you’re walking around campus,” he said. “A lot of students kick around soccer balls, do the obstacle course at the Student Recreation Center or tan on the hill in front of the [Voiland Engineering Building]. Take advantage of the free food on campus, too.”

The UREC will host a Backyard BBQ geared toward students which a great way to make friends and get some free food.

Gavilanes also said getting involved in the Multicultural Student Services is a great way to meet like-minded individuals and become more educated on other cultures.

“I’ll speak from experience, I didn’t live in the dorms so it was really hard for me to make friends and connect,” Gavilanes said. “I made a point to stay involved … a big part is to just pick an activity and go with it. If you pick something you enjoy, you’ll run into like-minded individuals who enjoy the same thing. That’s how you make connections.”