Explore the Palouse


Concerts and Music Festivals

FESTIVAL DANCE & PERFORMING ARTS brings international professional dance and performing arts events to our area and has been achieving their mission since 1972. "The Great Performances Series" provides the Palouse region with the only professional dance series between Seattle and Minneapolis. Festival Dance provides the area with exciting and enriching arts activities every month of the year! 

FRESH AIRE CONCERTS are a summer tradition in Moscow.  Bring your blanket, picnic basket, family, and friends to East City Park every Thursday evening, 6:30-7:30, June 9th-August and enjoy live musical entertainment as you relax in the pleasant evening air. 

PALOUSE CHORAL SOCIETY is a non-profit auditioned choir.  You can enjoy performances from October through May in the quad cities of Moscow and Lewiston, ID and Pullman and Clarkston, WA, as well as surrounding communities.  Call (208) 882-3749 or visit www.palousechoralsociety.org.

THE LIONEL HAMPTON JAZZ FESTIVALis the largest educational jazz festival in the world, and is hosted at the University of Idaho in Moscow each February.  This week-long festival offers student workshops throughout the week and brings in acclaimed world-famous jazz musicians for the evening concerts.  For more information about the Lionel Hampton School of Music, call (208) 885-6231.

RENAISSANCE FAIR is a favorite for locals and visitors alike, and features Northwest artists and crafters.  Come and enjoy this Spring renewal festival with food, exotic wears, dance and music. Tasty food is provided by local non profits and the funds are used to better the community. For more information visit www.moscowrenfair.org.

RENDEZVOUS IN THE PARK in Moscow’s East City Park, is an annual July music festival featuring nationally acclaimed musicians.  This is a wonderful family event!  Call (208) 882-1178.

WASHINGTON-IDAHO SYMPHONY, formed in 1971, has developed into a premium orchestra that brings classical and contemporary symphonic music to the Palouse.  Participating performers are local residents from Eastern Washington and North Central Idaho.  The season features five concerts, including guest artists and one free children’s concert.  Call (509) 332-3408.

WSU PERFORMING ARTSi, presents live theatre, music concerts and family entertainment in Washington State University's Jones and Wadleigh Theatres at Daggy Hall, bringing world-class performances to the Palouse. For more information call (509) 335-8522 or visit http://performingarts.wsu.edu 

Hiking, Camping and Fishing

BOYER PARK & MARINAis located 30 miles west of Moscow, brings the best of the Snake River to visitors with swimming, boating, and camping.  The 40-acre site has a marina, beach, tent and RV campgrounds, dressing rooms with showers, and laundry facilities.  Nearby, Lower Granite Dam offers fish viewing.  During the spring, see the Kokanee working their way back home to spawn. Call (509) 397-3208.

COUNTY PARKS: Both Latah County (Idaho) and Whitman County (Washington) offer several outstanding County Park facilities.  In Latah County you will find Robinson Park and Virgil Phillips Farm.  Call (208) 883-5709 for information.  In Whitman County discover Kamiak Butte, Klemgard Park, Wawawai Park on the Snake River, and the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail.  Call (509) 397-6238 for information.

ELK CREEK FALLS RECREATION AREA is located 54 miles east of Moscow, has a series of waterfalls that plunge almost 300 feet into a forest canyon.  The trail winds through a forest of pine and cedar trees.  Elk Creek and nearby Elk Creek Reservoir are favorite spots for catching rainbow and brook trout.  Take State Highway 8 to Bovill; follow sign toward Elk River.

THE EMERALD CREEK GARNET AREA is one of only two deposits in the world where brilliant 4 and 6 ray star garnets are found – the other is India!  Maintained by the U.S. Forest Service; open Saturday of Memorial weekend and closes Tuesday after Labor Day.  Permits required.  Located off Highway 3, turn onto Road 447 and proceed southwest 8 miles to the parking area.  For information, call (208) 245-2531 or call the Moscow Chamber at (208) 882-1800 for a guided tour brochure.

HELLS GATE STATE PARK, located 35 minutes south of Moscow, includes 200 developed acres that border the Snake River as the gateway into Hells Canyon, famous for being North America’s deepest gorge.  There is plenty of grassy space for picnicking, camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, and wildlife viewing.  The park offers 93 RV/t ent camp sites, 8 cabins, and a Lewis & Clark center.  Call (208) 799-5015.                                                                                                          Photo Courtesy Zach Mazur Photography

HOBO CEDAR GROVE BOTANICAL GARDEN is well worth the hour and a half drive from Moscow!  The area has old growth trees that were just seedlings in 1492, and in 1980 it was designated a National Natural Landmark.  Call (208) 245-2531 for information, or you may contact the Moscow Chamber for detailed driving directions.

IDLER’S REST CONSERVATORY, just northeast of Moscow, offers idyllic woods adjacent to the Palouse farmlands.  You can also cross over the road and hike the trails beyond the creek.  From Moscow, take Mountain View Road north then turn east on Idler’s Rest Road.  Watch for signs.

KAMIAK BUTTE COUNTY PARK rises 3,650 feet and offers shaded picnic areas, campgrounds, and a breathtaking view of the Palouse.  Just 13 miles north of Pullman, WA off State Route 27, the butte has a switchback hiking trail to the crest that overlooks Pullman and Moscow.

LAIRD PARK, located 38 miles north of Moscow, has campsites, a swimming hole, and picnic tables nestled among pine and cedar trees.  Take Highway 95 north to Potlatch, and then turn northeast on State Highway 6 for 15 miles.  Turn east on Forest Service Road 447 for 3 miles and look for signs.

MOOSE CREEK & SPRING VALLEY RESERVOIRS are favorite fishing holes for local residents.  These small reservoirs are stocked with trout and bass.  Boats with electric motors only.  Picnic tables, campsites, docks, and restrooms are available at both sites.  Located east of Moscow off State Highway 8, Spring Valley is just outside Troy and Moose Creek is just before Bovill.

PALOUSE FALLS STATE PARK is a hidden oasis for the visitor.  A drive to the falls takes you off the beaten path to an unbelievable view of the falls that cascade 198 feet into a round salt-rock canyon.  The falls are unique because they emerge from the channeled scablands of southeastern Washington, an arid landscape.  The park features hiking trails, picnic tables, restrooms, 10 sites for overnight camping, and ADA parking.  Located 80 miles west of Pullman, WA, just 15 miles southwest of Washtucna on Highway 261.

THE PALOUSE RECREATION TRAILS are ideal for walking, running, biking, and rollerblading.  This system of trails offers an amazing 26 miles of paved pathways!  The Bill Chipman Palouse Trail consists of seven miles of smooth pathway between Pullman, WA and Moscow, ID along Highway 270, and is open dawn to dusk year-round.  The Chipman Trail connects with Moscow’s Paradise Path, a 1.47-mile non-motorized trail between the UI campus and downtown Moscow.  The Latah Trail connects with Paradise Path and runs parallel to State Highway 8 between Moscow and Troy.  ThePullman Parks and Recreation Trail System connects Pullman’s trail system with the Chipman Trail.

STEPTOE BUTTE STATE PARK soars 3,612 feet into the sky.  Driving to the top of Steptoe is like seeing the landscape from an airplane!  Day use only; picnic tables and restrooms available.  Take Highway 195 out of Pullman, WA to Colfax, then State Highway 271 toward Oakesdale.  Look for the sign.

STEPTOE BATTLEFIELD SITE & MONUMENT is located on a hill overlooking Rosalia, WA.  The monument is a 25-foot granite memorial that marks the location where the last Indian victory over the U.S. Army occurred in May of 1858.  This historic battle, with 158 mounted troops facing between 600 and 1,200 warriors, ended when their leader ordered a cease-fire acknowledging the army’s surrender.  Rosalia’s Battle Days Celebration commemorates this noteworthy event.

Local Exclusives

ARTISANS AT THE DAHMEN BARN - Attractions include a gift shop featuring art, fine crafts and products from the Palouse, artisans at work in their studio spaces who will share their creative process with visitors and from whom purchases may be made directly, a monthly art exhibition, and regularly scheduled classes and performance events.  Artisans at the Dahmen Barn is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm with early closure at 4 pm the winter months of January and February. It is closed on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Christmas day, Easter and Thanksgiving.

THE PALOUSE ICE RINK is located in Moscow at the Latah County Fair Grounds.  The covered rink hosts youth and adult hockey, figure skating clubs, skating lessons, birthday parties, and more.  Call (208) 882-7188. 

THE HAMILTON-LOWE AQUATIC CENTER in Moscow boasts several large water slides, smaller slides for younger children, adult and kiddy pools, and a large concession area with patio.  Call (208) 882-7665.

MOSCOW FARMERS’ MARKET offers the best in locally grown produce including fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables.  Music performed by local musicians.  The market opens the first Saturday in May and runs 8am-12pm each Saturday through October.  Call the Moscow Arts Commission at (208) 883-7036.

Museums, Galleries and Theatre

APPALOOSA MUSEUM exhibits artifacts, photos, and paintings that trace this distinguished horse breed known for its spotted coat.  Appaloosa viewing corral during summer months.  Open Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm and summer Sat. 9am-3pm.  Call (208) 882-5578 ext. 279 for more information. 

MCCONNELL MANSION was built in 1886 by Idaho’s third Governor and Moscow’s most prominent merchant, William McConnell.  Today, the mansion is a prime example of Victorian architecture featuring two parlors, dining room, hall, staircase, bedroom, and kitchen that are restored to time periods circa 1890-1930.  The Historical Society’s changing exhibits feature Latah County history.  Tour the charming and beautiful old homes in the Fort Russell Historical District with a walking tour map.  Gift shop.  Open Tues.-Sat. 1-4pm.  Call (208) 882-1004 for more information.

MOSCOW ARTWALK runs in downtown Moscow from June 17 – September 10.  Thirty-five businesses and organizations have been partnered with some of our area’s finest artists, and will host their art displays for the summer.  This year’s art features a wide variety of mediums and styles, ranging from steel bamboo furniture and fabric murals to ceramics and photography.  Call (208) 883-7036 or (208) 882-1800 for a walking tour brochure.

THE PALOUSE DISCOVERY SCIENCE CENTER, located in Pullman (8 miles west of Moscow across the Washington state line), promotes science, math, and technology literacy through the use of educational programs, exhibits, teaching collections, and activities emphasizing hands-on learning.  Open Wed.-Sat. 10am-3pm to the public.

PERFORMING ARTS opportunities abound in Moscow and its twin town Pullman, Washington.  The UI Hartung Theatre, a 417-seat theatre located on the University of Idaho campus, offers performances throughout the year.  TheIdaho Repertory Theatre, founded in 1953, is one of the Northwest’s oldest professional summer theatre companies.  TheKenworthy Performing Arts Centre (KPAC) is located in downtown Moscow and offers films and live theatre.  The Moscow Community Theatre, founded in 1976, features family drama, comedy, and musical productions.  WSU Theatre in Pullman presents theatrical productions in modern campus facilities.  The Pullman Civic Theatre, founded in 1946, performs five plays yearly and has an active children’s wing.

UI PRICHARD ART GALLERY is Moscow’s prominent art center and exhibits some of the nation’s finest artists.  Gallery open Mon.-Fri. 12pm-6pm and Sat. 10am-4pm.  Summer months:  Mon.-Fri. 10am-8pm and Sat. 10am-6pm.  For a schedule of exhibits, call (208) 883-3586.

THE WSU ART MUSEUM, located in Pullman, WA, is the largest fine arts facility in the Inland Northwest and operates a program of exhibits changing throughout the year.  The gallery offers traditional and contemporary art forms from various mediums.  Open Mon.-Wed. and Fri.-Sat. 10am-4pm, Thurs. 10am-7pm, and Sun. 12am-4pm.  Call (509) 335-1910.

Rafting

The Palouse is your gateway to high adventure on two of the world's most renowned white-water rivers. Hell's Canyon of the Snake River and the legendary Salmon River, two of the deepest river gorges in North America lie just south of the Palouse, offering a unique opportunity to experience the majesty of the Northwest.  The Salmon River Experience and Three Rivers Rafting offer rafting trips in the area.  For more information, call 800.380.1801. 

Scenic Drives

MARY MINERVA MCCROSKEY STATE PARK is also called “Skyline Drive” because of its spectacular view of the rolling Palouse hills.  Considered a primitive area, the drive through the park winds over three mountains.  Take Highway 95 north for about 25 miles and watch for the Skyline Drive turn-off. 

THE PALOUSE SCENIC BYWAY is a 208-mile corridor of unique rolling hills in Whitman County, WA providing leisurely enjoyment of this historic area including scenic views, recreation areas, and open-space habitat, safely shared by people walking, bicycling, and driving.  The byway’s 11 communities welcome visitors and work to preserve the Palouse Scenic Byway’s historical and natural heritage.

STEPTOE BUTTE STATE PARK soars 3,612 feet into the sky.  Driving to the top of Steptoe is like seeing the landscape from an airplane!  Day use only; picnic tables and restrooms available.  Take Highway 195 out of Pullman, WA to Colfax, then State Highway 271 toward Oakesdale.  Look for the sign.

WHITE PINE SCENIC DRIVEis one of Idaho’s greatest scenic routes.  The 6-mile corridor’s impressive Giant White Pine Campground features a 400-year old tree, 6 feet in diameter and 188 feet tall.  There are trails, campsites, and restrooms.  Located in St. Joe National Forest.  From Moscow, take Highway 95 to the Potlatch turn-off on State Highway 6.  Signs mark the route.

Sports

UI Golf Course in Moscow is an 18-hole, par 72 course.  Complete Pro Shop, driving range, club and cart rentals, PGA instruction, and a snack shop.  The Pro Shop is open from March 1st until the end of the season.  For reservations, call (208) 885-6171. 

Palouse Ridge Golf Club
, located 8 miles west of Moscow in Pullman, WA, is an 18-hole majestic 7,308-yard layout that takes players on an unforgettable journey through 'The Palouse', which undulating dunes a legacy of the last ice age. The Palouse Ridge includes a 2,000 square foot putting green, 40 tee driving range, and golf shop featuring apparel, golf clubs, and bags.  PGA instruction available.  Call (509) 335-4342 for reservations. 

The Elks Golf Course is a 9-hole, private course (public invited if sponsored by an Elks member) located just east of Moscow on Highway 8.  Call (208) 882-3015. 

Visitors and residents alike find the miles of trails in north central Idaho irresistible.  The Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation publishes several brochures with information on snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and other winter activities.  Order online at www.idahoparks.org or call (208) 334-4199, visitwww.sledtherockies.com for regional information, or visit www.fs.fed.us/rl/clearwater/ and choose “Winter Recreation” under the Visitor Information link.

Latah County offers miles and miles of groomed snowmobile trails spread over the region.  The largest system begins at Elk River (53 miles east of Moscow) and features more than 200 miles of groomed trails.  Sports enthusiasts can enjoy trail riding and hill climbing with elevations from 3,000 to 6,000 feet.

Trail Name
: Moscow – Elk River Snowmobile Trails
Location: Near Moscow, Bovill, Harvard, and Elk River
Nearest City:  Elk River, ID: (208) 826-3299
Webwww.elkriverlodge.net
Lodging: Elk River Lodge: (208) 826-3299
Morris Drugstore:  (208) 826-3689 - Cabins for lease, complete with kitchen & bathroom, 8 X 20 loft for sleeping area, 10 X 16 storage area for snowmobiles.
Dining: Elk River Café: (208) 826-3398
Elk Butte Log Inn Restaurant and Bar: (208) 826-3277
Tom’s Tavern: (208) 826-3301
Moscow Snowmobile Club: Snodrifters of Latah County, Kris Riggs, (208) 892-8591

North Central Idaho is a winter wonderland for downhill skiers.  Within day-tripping distance of Moscow, residents and visitors will find their choice of at least seven different ski resorts.  Visit www.visitid.org or call the Moscow Chamber for more information.

Idaho’s trails run through National Forests, State Parks, and ski areas.  In addition, some of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation trail systems offer overnight yurt lodging.  For a small fee, this Park N’ Ski program offers a permit for annual or temporary parking at the trail heads.

Trail Name: North South Nordic Trails
Location: 42 miles north of Moscow on the Palouse Divide, accessible from Hwy. 95 and Hwy. 6.
Nearest City:  Potlatch, ID:  (208) 875-1131
Webwww.fs.fed.us/rl/clearwater

Universities

THE UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO (UI) is the state’s land-grant institution and currently enrolls nearly 13,000 students coming from every state in the nation and over 90 foreign countries.  The campus offers a variety of exhibits, displays, tours, performing arts, and recreational opportunities.  Stop by UI’s Visitor Information Center in Moscow or call (208) 885-6424. 

UI ARBORETUM & BOTANICAL GARDENSfill 63 acres of land along Nez Perce Drive.  Organized into geographical groupings of Asian, European, Eastern, and Western North American sections, it displays plantings of hundreds of species of cultivars of North Temperate trees and shrubs and a xeriscape garden.  In addition to native Idaho species, there are over 120 dedicated trees and groves, trails, water features, and 27 granite benches for viewing, studying, contemplation, and enjoying northern Idaho’s spectacular seasonal changes.

THE WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY (WSU) BEAR PROGRAM, located 8 miles west of Moscow in nearby Pullman, WA, was started in 1986 in response to the threatened status of many bear populations.  The facility includes a two-acre exercise yard and six indoor-outdoor pens with temperature-controlled dens.  The WSU Bear Program is the only facility in the world to house adult grizzlies for research.  Undergraduate and graduate students majoring in wildlife, zoology, or biology feed and care for the bears daily from April to November.

WSU CREAMERY & FERDINAND’S ICE CREAMin Pullman is home to the world famous Cougar Gold Cheese and Ferdinand’s ice cream.  The observation room is open for guided and self-guided tours where spectators can watch the award-winning cheese and ice cream being made.  Mon.-Fri., 9:30am-4:30pm and 3-1/2 hours before kick-off of home football games.