The Palouse Range is the westernmost extension of the Bitterroots in this part of Idaho. The range is the most prominent geological feature visible from Moscow, home of the University of Idaho. The ten-mile long range extends east to west. The highest summit of the range is Moscow Mountain, at 4983 feet. The best views from the range are obtained from the summit of East Moscow Mountain, 1.5 miles east of the high point.
East Moscow Mountain was the site of an old forest service lookout, long since abandoned and dismantled. The summit affords unobstructed 180-degree views to the south. The Clearwater and Snake River Canyons are clearly visible, along with the lovely rolling hills of the Palouse Prairie. On a clear day, you can see the Seven Devil Mountains, over 100 miles away.
The primary image is of the main, not East summit. That's just because I really liked the way it turned out :-)
Getting ThereStarting at the intersection of US 95 at Idaho Rt. 8 in Moscow, travel 11 miles east on Rt. 8 to the village of Troy. Just before the village center, turn left onto Big Meadow Road (signed). Take the immediate left onto Randall Flat Road (signed). After two miles, turn right onto Tamarack Road (signed). Follow Tamarack Road for four miles until you reach the ridgeline.
There is a small parking area at this point. Barriers may prevent vehicle access beyond this point. Park here if 1) gates are closed, 2) the weather is wet, 3) you do not have a high clearance vehicle, or 4) would just like to have a pleasant walk through the woods. There are no signs past this point. At the time of this posting, it was possible to drive to the summit.
From the parking area, proceed 0.9 miles on the now single lane Tamarack Road. After 0.9 miles, turn left onto the single lane Moscow Mountain Road. After 0.6 miles, turn left onto the single lane road leading to East Moscow summit. Follow this road 0.7 miles to the viewpoint. Approximately 0.25 miles before the viewpoint, bear right at the fork. The left fork leads to the abandoned Moscow Mountain picnic area, and a lovely stand of western redcedar.
The total climb from the parking area is about 900 ft. The total distance is about 2.2 miles.