Why the Wallowas Are My Favorite Part of Oregon

The Wallowas in Northeastern Oregon offer the best views of the state!

By: Jonathan Beeghly + Save to a List

 (A sub zero Morning On Wallowa Lake, December 2016) 

Last month, a few of my friends and I traveled to Joseph, Oregon and got a cabin in the Wallowas. If you haven’t made it out to this little corner of Oregon, you're really missing out. Nicknamed “The Oregon Alps,” the Wallowas have incredible size. Wallowa County has 18 peaks that are over 9,000 ft., and 31 peaks that are over 8,000 ft. You won’t see views like this anywhere else in Oregon. It is the type of scene that calls for a chair, a cold beer, and nowhere to be for the rest of your life. You’re not going to want to stop looking at them!

I don't think that it got warmer than 10 degrees our whole trip! Because of the cold temperatures and the amount of snowfall, we didn’t venture far from the cabin for too long. However, one day we did go to the local ski area to hit the slopes. Ferguson Ridge is a small skiing area made up of one pull bar and a few runs. The amount of powder was insane! The powder paired with a temperature of -3 degrees was the perfect recipe for some great conditions.

(A Mule Deer in Joseph, December 2016)

The town of Joseph has some great places to see as well. When we went into town, we stopped by Arrowhead Chocolates (Coffee & Tea) a few times. It is a great place to read, play cards, or just look outside at the incredible views. If you want to spend more time in town, there are quite a few little shops to go walk around in as well. Don't bee too surprised if you see quite a few deer roaming the streets of Joseph! 

(Black Bear Track, September 2016)

The Wallowa Mountain range is arguably the wildest area in Oregon. Its steep slopes make it difficult to get into the backcountry. However, when you do make it into the heart of the range, you will find yourself surrounded by large granite peaks! The wildlife in northeast Oregon is also more extreme than the rest of Oregon. While backpacking through the Wallowas, you might see any type of wildlife including wolves, black bears, mountain lions, elk, and even the occasional moose! This adds an element of excitement when entering into the backcountry.

(Wallowas, September 2016)

A majority of my backpacking trips take place in the Oregon Cascades. One of the main reasons I prefer the Wallowas to the Cascades is that you won’t find the big crowds in the Wallowas. Not nearly as many people will make the trip to the remote areas in Northeastern Oregon. Whether you are looking to stay in a cabin or rough it in the backcountry, you can’t go wrong with visiting the Wallowas!

(The Wallowa Range, September 2016)

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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