With 715 miles of trails in the Umatilla National Forest and 2,700 miles in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, there is a trail for everyone at all ages. These two forests account for roughly 3.3 million acres of public lands across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Ranging in elevation from a few hundred feet to 9,845 feet in the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, the hiking experience varies as much as the elevation. Bring the whole family on a riverside stroll or pack it in for a long weekend, whatever distance covered packs scenic vistas and magnificent displays of the intricate and complex workings of geologic time.
Protected by the Cascade and Rocky Mountains, the climate allows for an extended hiking season. Dodging the wet, marine air from the west and cold, Arctic air from the east, it is not unheard of to get a hike in each month of the year.
Hiking through the seasons also means different looks at the same terrain—rivers bulge with winter snow melt as trees bud and blossom, which, in the blink of an eye, turns to trickling creeks and fall foliage.
Rocky Mountain elk, cougar, mule deer, moose, black bear, beaver, and coyote are just a few mammals that call this area home, along with countless other bird species, fish, and reptiles.
Always practice good trail etiquette by taking precautions to protect yourself and animals from surprise meetings—let folks know where you are hiking, hike with a friend, carry bear spray, and make noise to alarm animals of your presence. Also be mindful of the season as some animals are more aggressive and or protective depending on the time of year. As the saying goes, take only memories—leave only footprints.
Explore our growing catalog of ideas about where to go. There is an intricate web of trails in the Blue Mountains, and some trails are maintained more often than others. We’ll do our best to describe what to expect and offer photographs of the area. We only publish posts of activities that we have done ourselves.