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If you're yearning for trees and mountains, you don't have to drive five hours west to the Cascades--there are plenty of tree-covered slopes just to the east and north of Pullman. Unfortunately the closest--Moscow Mountain--is in entirely private hands, and the residents are increasingly protective of what they view as trespassing people's abuse of their property.

But Idaho has a little-known alternative that is open to the public: McCroskey State Park.

Unfortunately, the turn into the park is a dangerous one, and Idaho has elected to solve the problem by removing all indications that the park exists from the highway until such time as the state gets enough money to construct a safer entrance. Here's what you need to know to get into this gem--but be careful.

Begin by taking Idaho State Highway 95 north out of Moscow. Or if you're not in a hurry, take the scenic route north of Pullman on Grand Avenue--which becomes Highway 27--past Kamiak Butte and down Palouse's main street east--it becomes Highway 272--to the junction with Highway 95, turn left onto the highway and proceed north.