Updated: May 31, 2020
The pure essence of Americana . . . quaint small towns, pastoral settings, miles of amber wheat fields, majestic landscapes and emerald green forests, this is the Palouse. Among the rolling hills are undiscovered treasures and great adventures. Communities lie nestled amidst wheat, lentil, dry pea fields and forest lands, each offering an outstanding life-style rich in culture and amenities. At the core of the Palouse are the hub cities of Moscow, Idaho (the Latah County Seat) and Pullman, Washington; along with Colfax, which is the County Seat of Whitman County in Washington.
Education and agriculture dominate the local economy. Two major universities are located here, the University of Idaho in Moscow, and Washington State University in Pullman. The presence of the universities provides economic stability and helps to insulate the counties from national economic cycles.
The rolling hills of the Palouse, home to some of the richest agricultural land in the nation, yield larger crops of wheat to the acre than the national average. The volcanic soil is rich, with sufficient rainfall for dryland farming. Wheat, barley, peas, lentils and canola all grow abundantly on dryland farms. Six hundred million pounds of dry peas and lentils are produced annually by local farmers, giving the Palouse region the distinction of being known as “The Dry Pea and Lentil Capital of the World.”
Surrounding the Palouse is an abundance of outdoor recreational areas, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, mountains and golf courses. Two of the world’s most renowned white water rivers and deepest river gorge in North America, “Hell’s Canyon” of the Snake River and the legendary Salmon River lie just south of Moscow and Pullman. Breathtaking scenery makes this area a photographer’s dream. The Palouse was depicted in the book The Most Beautiful Places in the World, Impressions of 10 Master Photographers, edited by May Maisel as the “Lourve of Farmlands.” Having the perfect combination of topography, climate, crops and farming methods, a National Geographic cover story called the region “A Paradise Called the Palouse.”