- Your Public Lands
Oregon State Parks
- What To Do
A gateway into the Eagle Cap Wilderness exists very near Wallowa State Park. The Wallowa Lake Trailhead provides access to the Chief Joseph Mountain Trail (#1803), East Fork Wallowa Trail (#1804), and West Fork Wallowa Trail (#1820).
There are a whopping 209 campsites. There are 121 full hook-up sites (36 pull-through), 88 tent only sites, and two yurts (one pet friendly). Reservations highly recommended as this is a popular camping spot. Consider off-season use and enjoy this park all year round.
Fish the lake for rainbow trout, kokanee, and lake trout (mackinaw). Fish the river for rainbow trout, brook trout, and hatchery steelhead. Fishing regulations are highly specific and based on location and species. Please always consult the latest information available from the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.
- Paddleboarding/ Kayaking
Camping at the state park provides easy access to Wallowa Lake. The boat launch and dock affords campers the opportunity to kayak and paddleboard on the lake. Hands down, you will not find a better view, and it will remain on your top five list of places to recreate. The Wallowa Lake Marina rents all sorts of water crafts (kayaks, canoes, row boats, small motor boats, and pontoon boats), but campers should check in advance of their trip to confirm availability.
- How To Get There
From Walla Walla, take HWY 11 south. Five miles past Milton-Freewater turn left on Winn Road. Continue two miles and turn left onto HWY 204 and continue to Elgin, OR. Once you have reached Elgin, OR take a left on South 8th Avenue and then take a right on Albany Street/ Wallowa Lake HWY/ HWY 82. Travel 50 miles to the town of Joseph, OR. Go through the town and turn left on HWY 351 and follow for 5.5 miles. Veer right onto Marina Lane to the park entrance.
- When To Go
The campground is open year round, so it just depends on what activities you are hoping to accomplish. Use the campground off season to beat the crowds. Just pack warm and enjoy the trails and town for a relaxing weekend in the mountains. In the summer, join the crowds who are equally as enthusiastic about outdoor recreation.
- What To Expect
The campground is big, offers plenty of shade, and is centrally located to the lake, trails, the Wallowa Lake Tramway, horseback riding, and various attractions for the family such as miniature golf. Many of those attractions are seasonal, so depending on when your trip is planned some of those activities might not be an option. At over 4,000 feet elevation, bring a jacket even in summer months as evenings are often chilly.
Fees depend on use. Expect about $75 per night for a group tent site that sleeps 25 and allows six vehicles. The yurts are $55 per night (pet friendly, sleeps 5) and $45 per night (sleeps 5), respectively. For a full hookup site, the fee is roughly $32 per night. To tent camp with a car is $20 per night and $7 for hikers and/or bikers per person. In general to have an extra vehicle on site is $7 extra, and the day use fee is $5 per day.
Valid Oregon fishing license (if fishing). Fishing licenses are available online via the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife or can be purchased at the Wallowa Lake Marina (open mid May to mid September). The Sports Corral in Joseph, OR is a local option if the marina is closed.
None other than being good stewards of the land!
The campground is huge and has quite a lot to offer: showers, toilets, amphitheater, dump station, firewood, horseshoe pit, playground, swimming, potable water, ice sales, interpretive programs, recycling/trash, off-leash area, fishing with cleaning station, and junior ranger program to name a few. This is easily a one stop campground but don’t forget to visit the local communities. They are quite excellent hosts.
- Wildlife Awareness
We are all so fortunate to recreate in the Blue Mountains. So many opportunities exist to play outside whether in a national forest, wilderness area, on a Wild and Scenic River, and more! With these opportunities comes great responsibility to appreciate that we are mere visitors and should all take pride in being good stewards of the wild. Many animals call these protected places home, including moose, elk, bear, cougar, bobcat, and snakes to name a few. Take precautions to respect their home and understand the appropriate response should an encounter occur. Additionally, many plant species thrive in the Blue Mountains, so staying on trail is always good practice. Carry First Aid supplies to better respond to accidents or encounters, and always let others know where the day's adventure is taking you.
- Field Notes
Navigation: Consider downloading the Avenza Map app. This app allows users to upload three maps (or unlimited with a subscription) to use offline. It can track your location offline and overlay GPS data from the phone onto the map. The vehicle use maps (for trails allowing motorized vehicles) are the easiest to use. Otherwise, Geo Tracker offers similar tracking capabilities and additional details about your adventure. If no service, Geo Tracker will at least show your location. The Blue Mountains and surrounding area offer a remote recreating experience, and knowing your location is paramount to staying safe. Always make sure to bring paper maps. Tell others where your adventure is taking you and when you expect to return.
Difficulty Level: Here is what we are thinking when we assign a difficulty level: Day Tripper--You don't have much experience in the area but want to get outside! Great for families of all ages. Adventurer--You know your way around the Blue Mountains and love a leisurely day outdoors. Mountaineer--You are ready for a challenge. Wild places excite you and sweat is the goal. Small children beware. Keep in mind some activities may apply to multiple difficulty levels based on usage.
Pets: In general, pets are allowed on a leash and under control throughout jurisdictions. The only restrictions we have encountered are around swimming areas. As a best practice, be mindful of riparian habitat in general. You never know where a precious spawning area might be located. Pack it in and pack it out applies to your furry friend as well.