WA Hwy 261 Palouse Falls + ADD NEW ROUTE
16 in Washington Washington30 Miles
on June 1, 2009
- Trip Toolbox
From Washtucna, Wa. head south on hwy 260 for approx. 6 miles and turn left onto Hwy 261. Follow 261 for about 10-12 miles, there is a sign posted for Palouse Falls, turn Left on the dirt road for 2.5 miles to the falls. After visiting the falls you'll turn Left, off the dirt road, onto Hwy 261 to go to Delaney and Hwy 12 approximately 18 miles.
Hwy 261 winds though the grass lands of the Washington Palouse. In the spring temperatures are mild and the grass is emerald green. At certain vantage points the Palouse looks to be relatively flat farm land; however, there are beautiful deep canyons and ravines tucked away that have been carved over time by the powers of nature. At Palouse Falls state park you'll have spectacular views of the falls and the river gorge. Continuing to Delaney where Hwy 261 meets US Hwy 12 you will have full views of the lower Palouse River. If you're into geology you will love this ride.
Note: Hwy 12, either into Clarkston/Lewiston or down to Walla Walla offer some great riding and connections to other great roads.
This short hwy gives you a little bit of everything from tight twisties, to hills, flat straight areas and some nice sweeper turns. The pavement is in fairly good condition with some patch work here and there (09). To get out to the falls you will need to take the 2.5 miles of well kept dirt/gravel road. Most of the dirt road is relatively flat and it is only the last mile that there is much of a hill. In the parking area the gravel is deeper and it can be a bit of a challenge for a novice rider.
Update from "Stewart" in July of 2013: "This road has many small hills, sweeping curve and a few sharp turns. The payment is good. This road is popular with many car clubs because of the curves and scenery.
The road into Palouse Falls is in the process of being paved (maybe). Currently it is compact gravel that is not to bad to ride on. This road is about 2 miles long. It is well worth driving in to see the falls, especially in the Spring."
Camping is available at Palouse State Park (right at the falls). There are several trails to hike around the falls and down into the canyons. (Beware of poison ivy by waters edge and rattle snakes). Other camping is available in the area and limited services are available in Starbuck. Gas can be scarce depending on the time of year and many stations are a card swipe only on Sundays. There are a couple of cafes in the small towns - though we have never stopped at any of them, we usually picnic at the falls.
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