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Best route from Kelowna, BC to The Palouse/Yellowstone Park

In cooperation with: Idaho Division of Tourism
Sidney, Canada
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Best route from Kelowna, BC to The Palouse/Yellowstone Park

Would love some help with our Itinerary, I have also posted on the Washington forum to get help from all the experts...:)

We are traveling from Kelowna, BC., and have 3 weeks in Sept to travel in our 24ft motorhome – main goal is Yellowstone Park with photo stops along the way, mainly in the Palouse area. (I have read so much about this area and how photogenic it is – I know the fields will be yellow, but that is ok)

I am having a tough time figuring out the best /most interesting/most photogenic route to take down and over to Yellowstone.

I would like to avoid the main highways as we would like to get out in to the country to see abandoned farms/machinery/cars etc on back roads – off the beaten path.

These are the stops/sights I have read about and would like to try and see.

I would love all you experts in the area’s input on possible itinerary – with thanks in advance.

I am wondering about route 21 or 395 down from Canada as possibilities?

We did route 97/155 down to Oregon last year and loved it.

Steptoe Butte State Park

Kamiak Butte County Park

Colfax area

Palouse Falls State Park

Wagon wheel fence – Uniontown


Snake River photo sights

Then possibly winding our way back up and over to Yellowstone via Walla Walla, Pendleton, Baker City, Boise Idaho, Idaho Falls then in to the park.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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1. Re: Best route from Kelowna, BC to The Palouse/Yellowstone Park

I'd be happy to help! Some of the sights are on or near Highway 195 between Spokane and Uniontown. There are signs routing you to Steptoe and Kamiak Buttes. The Wagon Wheel fence is on the west side of 195 as you enter Uniontown. It is at the Dahmen Barn Artists Center, so I suggest you park in the lot there and walk around to get your perspective. It is awesome!


If you are coming down south from the Spokane area you will drive thru the Palouse. You can see the rolling hills from the highway and occasional abandoned machinery on the main roads, altho it is a working area so not a whole lot of that. If you have particular sights you want to see I can try to direct you, or I can give you some loops. Were you planning to stay overnight in Moscow or Pullman?

Right off hand, I suggest you travel east from Moscow on Highway 8 to Troy. Stop in Troy at The Filling Station cafe on the left in the middle of town for breakfast, lunch or a coffee. As you travel thru Troy, Highway 8 curves to the left, but turn right on Highway 99 toward Kendrick. Drive to the large turnout on the right where the trucker information sign is posted about the *steep grade*. Turn around and return to Troy. In this direction you get a great view of Moscow Mountain. Back in Troy turn right onto Highway 8 toward Deary. Turn left on Highway 9 toward Potlatch, then left again on Highway 6 toward Potlatch. This takes you back to 95 where you can head south back to Moscow. This will take you thru the wheat, lentil and garbanzo fields of the Palouse. They are cutting wheat right now. Lentils and Garbanzos should be harvested over the next couple of weeks, but may extend in to the time you are here. You may encounter slow moving farm equipment on the road but usually they aren't going more than 5 miles or so. Give them some space especially if it's a loaded truck of grain or peas (the kind of generic term used for lentils and garbanzos around here).

There is also the Palouse Scenic Byway in SE Washington. www.palousescenicbyway.com/default.asp…

You also will be driving on the Palouse from Pullman south to the fence you want to see in Uniontown all the way down to the hill above Lewiston. This is where you will get the scenic view of the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. As you travel south from either Pullman or Moscow, the Pullman highway merges with the Moscow highway just before you get to the top of the hill overlooking the Valley. As you come to the truck weigh station, you will see a sign for the scenic overlook, so turn in there for a great view of the Lewiston Clarkston Valley down to the 7 Devils mountains on the left of the river near Riggins ID and the Blue Mountains of Washington and Oregon to the right of the river.

To get from here to Yellowstone, kind of depends on your starting point and how long you have to do it. It takes me 9 hours of driving time from my driveway to the West Gate in West Yellowstone. I live near Moscow. I can route you back roads down to Highway 12 and across Lolo Pass, backroads from Moscow up to I90 or main highways up to I90, your choice.

How much time are you wanting to stay in the Palouse area and how much time do you want to spend traveling over to Yellowstone? Be mindful of the fact that both Washington State University and University of Idaho begin the week before you arrive. If you are here on a weekend, you will need reservations if there are football games. BTW, Moscow has a wonderful Farmer's Market on Main St on Saturdays thru the end of Oct. There are many small farmers in the area.


Santa Fe, New Mexico
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2. Re: Best route from Kelowna, BC to The Palouse/Yellowstone Park

I will agree that the highway 12 should be the route to consider ... One of the most scenic river valley drives in North America ... From the Moscow area join the 12 at Orofino... Plan on camping at Lolo Hot Springs for a soak ! Drive South, on the 93 and enjoy Montana's Bitteroot Valley... Turning East, on the 43 to the I-15 into Butte & the I-80 for a overnight and "stock up" in Bozeman"s big box stores and fine coop market... All supplies and fuel get dear within the Parks...I believe hookups are available at only one site in Yellowstone... This part of your tour needs be planned like a military campaign ... After the Parks, what route home ??? I will suggest,from Jackson WY, the 26 to the 20 then West to your proposed initial Route ...carracar

Sidney, Canada
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3. Re: Best route from Kelowna, BC to The Palouse/Yellowstone Park

Thank you both for your help and inspiration on planning the route - so many options!

Also for the stocking up options and restaurant suggestions - even though we are traveling in a motorhome, we do get tired of that and do eat out occasionally.

We do not plan where we will camp as we go along as we never know how long we may spend in one area - so far in our travels we have been lucky - as we get nearer to Yellowstone, I will look online for reservations, otherwise we will camp outside of the park.

Sidney, Canada
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4. Re: Best route from Kelowna, BC to The Palouse/Yellowstone Park

I am also trying to figure out the start of the trip down from Canada to Spokane and south.

Which highway leading down from one of the Cndn boarders is most interesting/scenic/less boring?

I am seeing routes- ( and then some - lol )

1 - Kettle River Rd down to route 21 straight down to the #2 and over to Spokane etc

2 - Kettle River Rd, route 21 to route 20 to Kettle Falls then down route 25 to the #2

3 - Kettle River Road, route 21, over to route 20 to Colville, then on to the 395 to Spokane etc

4 - Route 97 to Tonasket, on to route 20 to Colville, then on to Spokane etc

5 - Route 97 to Omak, then on to route 155, then 174 and on to #2

Again, thanks for the help.

Sidney, Canada
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5. Re: Best route from Kelowna, BC to The Palouse/Yellowstone Park

Oops, sorry, I will repost my last post on the Washington forum, but just in case someone on the Idaho forum has done this or one of these routes, would love to hear of your experiences.

6. Re: Best route from Kelowna, BC to The Palouse/Yellowstone Park

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