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The Palouse River is a tributary of the Snake River located in the U.S. states of Washington and Idaho. It flows for 167 miles (269 km) southwestwards, primarily through the Palouse region of southeastern Washington. It is part of the Columbia River Basin, as the Snake River is a tributary of the Columbia River.
Its canyon was carved out by a fork in the catastrophic Missoula Floods of the previous ice age, which spilled over the northern Columbia Plateau and flowed into the Snake River, eroding the river's present course in a few thousand years.
The Palouse River flows from northern Idaho into southeast Washington through the Palouse region, named for the river.
The river flows through northern Latah County near State Highway 6 as it nears the state line. In Washington, the river flows in Whitman County to Palouse and then to Colfax, where it meets with the south fork, from Pullman and south of Moscow. From Colfax the river meanders west and ends up in the lower Snake River southwest of Hooper, but not before dropping over Palouse Falls. The Palouse River enters the Snake River below the Little Goose Dam and above the Lower Monumental Dam.