Kamiak Butte: Hiking in the Palouse
In the past two years or so, I have become something of a Seattle/Montana girl. My parents live in Billings, Montana, I have friends in Missoula, Montana, and I love taking road trips with my camera. The scenic route through the Palouse always promises to be spectacular. The green rolling hills contrast with gold stretches of wheat fields and rich dark soil. The sun and the clouds cast highlights and shadows creating depth amidst the vibrant colors. The windy curvy road takes you past beautiful farm houses with patterns ploughed into the land in the surrounding fields.
I stopped to stretch my legs at Kamiak Butte County Park. I had been here before and had somehow missed the trail. This time I intended to explore. I started up the Pine Ridge Loop and immediately noticed a lovely picnic and rest stop a few feet up the trail. The wood ceiling of the shelter glowed in the light.
Above me: blue skies and filtered sunlight through the pines.
Wild roses lining the trail were in full bloom and smelled delicious.
The trail opened into meadows filled with wildflowers. The air smelled of pine and sage.
The trail wove in and out of the pine forest. I was there in the harsh light of the early afternoon, the trees provided me with shade and dappled light.
In the distance, surrounding the butte, the rolling hills of the Palouse stretched for miles and miles under blue, blue skies.
On the way down, the purple of this blue bell caught my eye against the golden background.
The 3.5 mile loop hike with 900 feet of elevation gain, sweet smells, sunshine, and expansive views offered a lovely break for some exercise and photography!
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