Looking north out over fields toward town of Palouse and Idaho mountains from Kamiak Butte. Rising about 1,000 feet above the average terrain, Kamiak is like an island among the fields. The butte has an interesting geological history. It is made out of quartzite rock from Precambrian times. This makes it one of the oldest geological formations in the west. It's deep past saw it part of a huge mountain range. Later it was an island in an area like the South Pacific. During the Miocene era, huge basalt lava flows covered much of the area that is now eastern Washington. The flows buried Kamiak up to its eyebrows. Finally, the Palouse wheat fields blew in around it. Their windblown soils formed the dune like structures that look like waves. Kamiak is now an island again; an island of forest among the wheat ranches. It has a county park that is accessible from the north side off Highway 27 north of Pullman.
View from north side. Road between Palouse and Pullman.
of Kamiak from plaza of library at
Hiking on Kamiak in 2010, KWSU TV tower, toward Steptoe and more
Pictures from Steptoe and Kamiak
Other images of Palouse country
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