Driving west from Missoula you eventually get to the corner of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon and the town of Walla Walla, Washington. The name alone qualifies it for a stop and I was able to find more .. Hikes and Brews in Walla Walla.
This is major agricultural country with expansive wheat fields rising on the swelling hillsides that roll away in every direction. The highway in travels through small valleys and passes through small farming towns. Walla Walla proper is a town of about 40,000 that USA Today recognized as “the friendliest town in America” a few years ago.
Around Walla Walla
The downtown is a beautiful, classic main street that is well restored and maintained. The biggest thing I noticed was the proliferation of wine tasting rooms — there are said to be about 100 wineries in the Walla Walla area. They also have a baseball team called the Sweets – referring to the sweet onions that are grown in the area. I happened into a ticket and spent a couple hours at the ballpark one evening.
As I mentioned, WW is more a wine town than a beer town but I was still able to find several interesting stops in the area.
Panjab Trail Hike
As far as I figured out, there are no hikes of note that originate in the town although it is a pleasant enough place to stroll around. To find a hike I was directed east of town to the Blue Mountains near Dayton where the Panjab Trail originates. It is a scenic 55-mile drive from WW into the Umatilla National Forest. The hike is a pleasant one through mixed forest and is sufficient for developing a thirst.
photo credits: J. Chavez, Dean Myerson, Curt Schmidt