"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Beautiful Wallowa Lake, Oregon

Joseph, Oregon
Wallowa Lake State Park

This post will be all about the beautiful Wallowa Lake.  The town of Joseph is at the north end of the lake and the State Park is at the south end. Wallowa Lake sits at an elevation of 4,372 ft. It is the largest of several glacial cirque lakes in the area.  It is amazingly clear and reminds me much of Lake Tahoe. October was a great time to be here.  Sunny, warmish weather and the fall colors were great.  The lake is protected from all sides so there was almost no wind.
The glaciers formed high in the Wallowa Mountains around Glacier Lake and moved down the East and West Fork of the Wallowa River. As these glaciers advanced and retreated they carved out the river valleys and carried down rocks and sediment forming the moraines which rise over the lake some 900 feet. The lake is about 3.7 miles long and about 3/4 mile wide with a depth of almost 300 feet deep.

No wonder they call this area the Swiss Alps of Oregon.

The wind sometimes picked up a bit in the afternoons so we will plan our kayaking and fishing early and/or late in the day.
There are several trails around the area.  We chose one at the north end of the lake that took us by a creek and to a picturesque pond.

There was an old farmhouse in the area and while all buildings are gone, the old apple orchards are still there.  We talked with a local and he said the bears love this area due to the water access, grasses and apples.  We were here a week later but didn't see any.

The pond made for a perfect mirror of the Wallowa's in the background.

Another hike took us behind the lake and mountains out near some big ranches.

We took a break near the top and Hurley found a warm spot in the pine needles to rest.
This took us on the opposite side of the lake.  Looking across you see less trees and more grasses.  This side of the lake is lined with vacation homes.  Even this Eagle has a vacation home here.

With the winds calm and the weather at its warmest, we headed out on the lake to see if we could catch anything.  We just paddled and floated for hours.  It was so beautiful and peaceful on the water.  Good stuff for the soul.

As the sun headed down its rays cast layers of blue on the mountain side.

The temps dropped just as quickly as the sun did.  As we paddled back in campfires added wonderful smells.  We had stew cooking on the crockpot that we couldn't wait to get to.

No fish were caught, but what a perfect day!


  1. I agree...perfect day!! So glad you made it. Now we have to visit!!

    1. So glad we were able to go too! We should be rolling back into PV this weekend!

  2. Absolutely beautiful, Deb. What a perfect paddle.

  3. Stunning photos! We will be hauling our kyacks next time.
    Was good to meet you both. Enjoy!

    1. I'm glad you wrote! I added your name. It was great meeting you both also and we sure had fun there. Hope you had a great time visiting your daughter.

  4. Great job on your pictures, you really captured the beauty of the area. We are going to spend some extended time in Oregon next year and will have to stop by this area!

  5. Wow...stunning scenery. Oregon has such diversity in it’s geography.


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