Idaho’s home to some really unique natural features. Craters of the Moon, Shoshone Falls and Bruneau Sand Dunes immediately come to mind when you think of places that can take your breath away. They’re each beautiful in their own way, but they weren’t the special place in Idaho that found itself on the list. 

Photo by Caleb Riston on Unsplash
Photo by Caleb Riston on Unsplash
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Popular travel blog, Conde Nast Traveler, put together a list honoring the most beautiful locations in the country from coast to coast. They included 50 locations, in no particular order and The Palouse found itself on the list. 

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The Palouse is somewhere that photographers and drone pilots dream of going, because there’s nothing quite like it in North America. According to a 2006 episode of Outdoor Idaho, the unique and colorful hillside wasn’t carved by creeks and rivers. Its roots can be traced back to volcanoes, glaciers and wind. Millions of years ago, one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history caused basalt flows to fill in a canyon in the region.

YouTube/Daniel Foucachon
YouTube/Daniel Foucachon
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According to the Seven Wonders of Washington State, during the ice ages that followed, glaciers ground up the rock below it. That “glacial flour” ended up in a large glacial lake. As the ice age drew to a close, there were massive floods that washed the silt that was left behind all over the place. When the floods dried up, extremely strong winds caused colossal dust storms carrying the silt. When it finally settled, it piled up like sand dunes and created the colorful 400,000 square mile region known as the Palouse. 

The rolling hills extend into Idaho and have long been a prosperous place for wheat, barley, pea and lentil farmers. The unique soil retains water and doesn’t need to be irrigated. 

In addition to making Conde Nast’s list, Jet Setter included the Palouse on their list of 20 Most Beautiful Places in the United States. Country Living put it on their list of 45 Most Beautiful Places in the US to Add To Your Bucket List Right Now and gave it the distinction of the “America’s Most Beautiful Hills.” 

YouTube/Daniel Foucachon
YouTube/Daniel Foucachon
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Three big travel blogs, can’t be wrong! The Palouse is something you must travel up north to see. However, if you want some killer pictures of it, you’ll probably want to travel to Steptoe Butte State Park in Washington State. That’s where most of the breathtaking photos you see of the Palouse are captured. The park is about a 45 minute drive from Moscow. 

While the featured image on this post is indeed a shot from Steptoe Butte, Moscow’s Daniel Foucachon has some really incredible drone footage he’s taken in Idaho’s section of the Palouse on his YouTube channel.

As we mentioned earlier in this article, Idaho is full of absolutely of beautiful places. Why stop at the Palouse? Check out these other places to explore!

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