Pullman, Wash.

Steptoe Butte State Park is a must-visit spot on any leisurely drive through southeastern Washington. The inspiring vista from the 3,612-foot summit displays multiple interpretive panels that pay homage to its distinctive history.

Steptoe Butte was a wagon road, a hotel site, and an observatory location. Next to Palouse Falls, this might be one of the most photogenic state parks in Washington.

Last month, Washington State Parks announced that early 2021, Steptoe Butte State Park will undergo major road and parking lot repairs. This construction work will require a complete closure of the park, lasting approximately 12 to 16 weeks.

Steptoe Butte // Photo: Jon Jonckers

The start of the project will depend on weather, but state park headquarters expect it to be February or March. Washington State Parks aim to keep citizens informed of the closure as soon as they have decent weather analysis for the construction.

In the meantime, if you want to visit Steptoe during the winter months, day-use is pending weather conditions. The road is not maintained during the winter, and the park is subject to closure based on conditions. For the latest conditions and developments, visit Parks.state.wa.us.

Jon Jonckers is a long-time contributing writer and photographer for Out There. Visit his photography gallery to see his stunning images from around the Northwest.