Wallowa Lake

Wallowa Lake

Wallowa Lake

Wallowa Lake

Wallowa Lake

Wallowa Lake

• An alpine lake at high altitudes surrounded on three sides by the snow-capped Wallowa Mountains
• The crystal-clear lake is open for water sports, boating, and swimming

A summer brings intolerable heat and nothing feels better than a refreshing dip in the cool water on a weekend. If you genuinely believe that this is good as it gets, then think again. Wallowa Lake, south of Joseph, Oregon, is not only stunning due to its pristine clear cool waters, but also because it is surrounded on three sides by tall snow-capped mountains.

Believed to have been created due to a series of Pleistocene Glaciers, the high moraines impounding the lake create a beautiful backdrop for the crystal clear water of the lake to shine through. The calm waters of the lake make it an ideal spot for canoeing and paddle boarding. There are boat launches, docks, and beaches at either end of the lake. The pristine waters of Wallowa Lake are also open for water sports and swimming in addition to boating.

The Wallowa Lake Trailhead provides an opportunity to enjoy majestic flora such as Douglas Fir, Aspens, Ponderosa Pine and ancient cottonwoods. A small half a mile-long hike from the lake takes hikers to the Iwetemlaykin Heritage Park, nestled within the sacred land of the Nez Perce Tribe.

One of the features of the lake is Wallowa Lake Tram that will bring you to the top of 8,150-foor Mount Howard. Explore the trails on the top of Mt. Howard and have a lunch at the Summit Grill restaurant.


Wallowa Lake | General Description

Open: Year-round
Managed: Oregon State Park
Location: Wallowa Lake State Park

Services: Flush restrooms, drinking water, garbage service, fishing docks, boat ramps, picnic sites, picnic shelters, boat ramps, playgrounds, restaurants, tramway
Activities: Swimming, watersports, hiking, biking, fishing, boating
Accommodations: Campgrounds, resorts, lodges

Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Popularity: Moderate to high

Elevation: 4,000 ft (1,219 m)

Wallowa Lake is located:

  • 12 miles south of Enterprise
  • 76 miles east of La Grande
  • 335 miles east of Portland.

Swimming hole rating: 3 out of 5
Water body: Natural lake
Water quality: Transparent
Current: None
Depth: Deep and shallow
Beach: Gravel
Water T° (summer): Cold


From La Grande,

  • Drive OR 82 east for about 70 miles to OR 351
  • Continue 5.6 miles onto OR 351.

Address: 60077 Wallowa Lake Highway, Joseph, OR 97846
Phone: 541-432-4185

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