Kamiak Butte rises out of the rolling Palouse farmland to an elevation of 3641 feet. Forming something of a forested island, it is some of the only hiking opportunities available in an area where agriculture is king. Hikers who venture to the summit are rewarded with a rolling patchwork of green and yellow fields in every direction, and bright blue skies overhead.
Most hikers explore Kamiak Butte using the appropriately-named Pine Ridge trail, a 3.5 mile loop that wends between Ponderosa pines and Douglas-fir trees, taking visitors to a ridgeline, then traversing across the top of the Butte. A spur trail offers a detour to the true summit if you're inclined towards peak-bagging or lunching; there's a picnic table tucked into a grove of trees at the top!
After tagging the summit, descend on the West End trail back to the trailhead, using a set of switchbacks. Hiking this loop counter-clockwise is easier on your knees, but if you're looking for a workout, head up clockwise.
Views all along the way alternate between close-ups of forest with a carpet of wildflowers and busy insects and sweeping views of the Palouse hills. This hike can be hot, so it's best to start early, before the sun gets too intense.
It's also best hiked in the springtime, when the green in the hills is at it's most vivid and the wildflowers are fresh. However, the farmland spread out below you from the summit of Kamiak Butte provides an excellent landscape at nearly any time of year.