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Wallowa Lake, Oregon

Visit once and you'll want to go back!

Wallowa Lake is a deep blue lake formed by a series of glaciers and lies at the end of a beautiful green valley that is set between majestic mountains. The ribbon lake is located about a mile south of Joseph, Oregon, a small town with a variety of businesses that include restaurants, motels, and gift shops.

Wallowa Lake State Park is an ideal jumping off point for wilderness hikes and water activities, with a day use park and beach on the lake plus an overnight park with year-round camping, and you can reserve a site up to 6 months in advance at ReserveAmerica.

Take the Wallowa Lake Trailhead to the Eagle Cap Wilderness, or spend time fishing, swimming, kayaking or boating on the lake. The Wallowa Lake Marina has a wide variety of boats, kayaks and paddleboards you can rent, plus fishing licenses, bait, loaner life jackets and more.

View Wallowa Lake, the valley and the Eagle Cap Wilderness from a tramway that will take you to the top of Mt. Howard (8,200 feet).

Viewpoints to Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in North America, are about 50 miles away. Hat Point Overlook is 54 miles northeast and Joseph Canyon Viewpoint is 42 miles north of the park, where you can also learn about the Nez Perce and Chief Joseph's winter home in the canyon. On the north end of the lake is Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site and Nez Perce National Historical Park, honoring Chief Joseph.

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE: 45.3086536,-117.2464094

STARTING POINT: We started from Boise, but this area is close to Southeast Washington cities like Walla Walla and also Northeastern Oregon cities such as Baker City and La Grande.

DISTANCE FROM STARTING POINT (Boise): Approximately 241 miles

TIME TO REACH: 4 hours 11 minutes



FEES: Refer to links to park information for types of fees

RECOMMENDED VEHICLES: Accessible to all vehicles


WHEN WE WENT: Late summer

CAMPGROUNDS: Wallowa Lake State Park; private RV parks also available

Getting There

From Boise:

  • Follow I-84 W to OR-82 E/Island Ave in La Grande

  • Take exit 261 for OR-82 toward La Grande City Center

  • Follow OR-82 E to Lake Shore Dr in Wallowa County

I'm Here - Now What?

  • Boating, rafting, floating, paddling

  • Camping

    • 121 Full-hookup sites (36 pull-through)

    • 88 tent sites with water nearby

    • 2 yurts

    • 3 group tent areas

    • 3 group picnic areas

    • Hiker/Biker camping

    • Hot showers and flush toilets

    • RV dump station

    • Playground

    • Firewood

    • Two sites and both yurts are accessible to campers with disabilities.

  • Picnicking

  • Fishing

  • Photography

  • Wildlife and plant viewing

  • Hiking

  • Biking

  • Shopping and restaurants

  • Wallowa Lake Tourism Guide - great information!

Nearby Areas of Interest

  • Flora - a ghost town in a beautiful valley

  • Troy


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