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Photo Gallery: Washington’s Palouse Region

19 Road-Trip Photos Capture the Iconic Charm of the Palouse

AAA Washington’s visual designer Marcus Badgley and his wife, Kelly, took a road trip to Washington’s beautiful Palouse region this summer. Check out what they encountered along the way, and be prepared to be charmed by photos of rolling green vistas and iconic destinations.

Painted Bus known as That NW Bus

1. That NW Bus

Known as “That PNW Bus” or “That NW Bus,” this psychedelic former Toppenish District 1955 Kenworth Pacific school bus (now owned by the The Washtucna Heritage Museum) sits in a grassy field on Main Street in Washtucna. It was easy to find off the exit to state Highway 26. The interior, which has been stripped of all seats, is also covered with graffiti.

~ Marcus Badgley

Palouse Train Trestle

2. Joso High Bridge

The 1912, 3,920-foot-long Joso High Bridge near Lyons Ferry spans the Snake River. With 24 steel supports and standing 260 feet above the river, it was the longest and highest rail bridge in the world at the time of its construction.

~ Marcus Badgley

Scrambled eggs for breakfast in the Palouse

3. Delicious Food

Saturday breakfast of fresh duck eggs purchased from our hosts, scrambled with onions and veggies. Every road trip always includes our trusty Dutch oven.

~ Marcus Badgley

Kelly at the campsite

4. All Smiles

My wife, Kelly, was super pleased about our campsite

~ Marcus Badgley

Hipcamp hosts Derrick and Holt

5. Making Friends Along the Way

Our Hipcamp hosts, Derrick and Holt, who kindly offered us suggestions on the sights and nearby hikes.

~ Marcus Badgley

Old barn and windmills

6. Spotting Barns

One of the many old barns in the Palouse with windmills in the background. Palouse Wind generates about 105 megawatts of energy , supplying power to 30,000 homes.

~ Marcus Badgley

Columbia County Grain Growers granary

7. Columbia County Growers Granary

One of my favorite shots from our trip, the Columbia County Grain Growers granary at the junction of U.S. 12 and state Highway 261. The other side of this building is about twice as tall — but not as photogenic.

~ Marcus Badgley

Palouse landscape

8. Charming Landscapes

Thanks to an unusually overcast and rainy spring, the hillsides were covered with psychedelic colors from the blend of soil, grass and wildflowers. I stopped many times to take photos of the landscape during the entire weekend.

~ Marcus Badgley

Palouse Falls

9. The Palouse Falls

The centerpiece of our trip, The Palouse Falls. We hit the falls at a great time — plenty of water and a landscape full of wildflowers.

~ Marcus Badgley

aerial shot of the Palouse Falls

10. Aerial Shot of The Palouse Falls

My drone captures the area south of the Palouse Falls, midway to where the Palouse River meets the Snake River.

~ Marcus Badgley

Canyon Lands at the Palouse Falls

11. More Landscapes

South of Palouse Falls. My drone captured stills and video of the Vetch-infused landscape until all three batteries were exhausted.

~ Marcus Badgley

Little Goose Lock and Dam

12. Little Goose Lock and Dam

While driving to our camp we were intrigued by the name, Little Goose Lock and Dam, so we took a few hours to explore this dam built on the Snake River in 1963, which includes a navigation lock, power plant and fish ladder. It was a cool, somewhat surreal, detour that we were glad we made.

~ Marcus Badgley

Snake River

13. Snake River

The Snake River wends its way south to Lyons Ferry.

~ Marcus Badgley

Purple Green and Yellow Hills

14. Purple, Green and Yellow

For a photographer exploring the Palouse, the green rolling landscape and amazing views had me stopping at every turn in the road to take pictures. What should have been a simple one-hour drive took twice as long.

~ Marcus Badgley

Purple Vetch

15. Wildflowers

Purple Vetch was the most abundant of the wildflowers in bloom, covering entire swaths of the land.

~ Marcus Badgley

Wildflowers

16. Hikes and Wildflowers

This closeup of western yarrow and Arrowleaf balsamroot was taken on our morning hike from our campsite before returning home.

~ Marcus Badgley

Rolling hills

17. Changing Colors

Some of the hilly, farm fields along Highway 261 were left fallow. It was so curious to come back to see how the colors have changed with the season.

~ Marcus Badgley

Fields of Mustard Beehives

18. On the Way to Walla Walla

On Sunday morning we pass hills of mustard and beehives along Highway 12 on the way to breakfast in Walla Walla before heading home.

~ Marcus Badgley

Marcus and Kelly Badgley at Breakfast in Walla Walla

19. Breakfast in Walla Walla

The menu at Bacon & Eggs on Main Street in Walla Walla was two pages long, chock full of goodness. I plan to return this fall to try their Cochinita Pibil (Yucatán-style barbecue pork), which is only served on Mondays. And of course, we were compelled to capture a selfie.

~ Marcus Badgley

Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.

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