About a half hour from the RV park, Steptoe Butte is a quartzite island jutting out of the silty loess of the Palouse hills in Whitman County, Washington. It is contained by Steptoe Butte State Park. The rock that forms the butte is over 400 million years old, in contrast with the 15–7 million year old Columbia River basalts that underlie the rest of the Palouse. Steptoe Butte has become the archetype for its type, and steptoes are defined as isolated protrusions of bedrock, such as summits of hills or mountains, in lava flows.
A hotel built by Cashup Davis stood atop Steptoe butte from 1888 to 1908, burning down several years after it closed. In 1946, Virgil McCroskeydonated 120 acres (0.49 km2) of land to form Steptoe Butte State Park, which was later increased to over 150 acres (0.61 km2). Steptoe Butte is currently recognized as a National Natural Landmark because of its unique geological value. It is named in honor of Colonel Edward Steptoe.
A narrow paved road winds around the butte, leading to a parking area at the summit. Popular activities, besides sight-seeing, include hang gliding and flying kites and model airplanes.
Elevation: 3,612 feet (1,101 m), approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) above the surrounding countryside.
Steptoe is a small unincorporated rural community in Whitman County, Washington, United States. Steptoe is 11 miles north of the county seat, Colfax and is 43 miles south of Spokane. It is named after Colonel Edward Steptoe for a battle located north of Steptoe near Rosalia, Washington. Steptoe has an elementary school consisting of students 1st through 8th grade, a post office (zip code 99174), a gas station catering to the local community. Local tourist attractions include Steptoe Butte. Steptoe's main roads include U.S. Route 195 and State Route 23.