82 Things to Do
1. Go rodeo-ing at the PRCA Chief Joseph Days Rodeo.
This event is always the last full weekend of July. Top professional cowboys compete in three evening shows at the base of the Wallowa Mountains. A local amateur, family night show kicks off the rodeo.
Parade and local cultural events highlight the weekend.
2. Watch the annual Lee Scott Memorial Plowing Bee.
Horses and mules are harnessed up to draw old plows and discs.
Close your eyes and just listen for a moment to the sounds of old-time plowing. Imagine yourself as a pioneer farmer on this land.
3. Have lunch at the Imnaha Store and Tavern.
This unique store is located at one of the entrances to Hells Canyon.
Enjoy local specialties, such as chicken gizzards. You can visit with people in this local hotspot.
4. Attend Tamkaliks.
Enjoy three days of native dancing, drumming and religious ceremonies in this mid-summer event, hosted by a coalition of Nez Perce and local people. Check out vendors booths and dont miss the Sunday friendship feast.
5. Go steelhead fishing on the Wallowa River.
Access is convenient along Highway 82 where highway and river wind through a beautiful canyon. Its an exhilarating place to be!
6. Spend the day at the Joseph Bronze, Blues & Brews festival.
This summertime show features a whole day of top-quality blues musicians performing on a big stage. Micro-brewers and wineries sell beer and wine, and locally produced bronzes are on exhibit.
Beautiful Joseph City Park serves as the perfect outdoor venue.
7. Go camping at Wallowa Lake State Park.
Both tent camping and RV hook-ups are available at this site located beside the Wallowa Mountains. Mini-golf, go-cart racing, and boat rentals can enhance your experience.
8. Watch the Dragon boat races on Wallowa Lake.
This new event promises to be a spectacular crowd-pleaser, held at one of Oregons seven wonders, Wallowa Lake at the end of August.
9. Take a camera to the Zumwalt Prairie.
Meadow vistas between the mountains are breathtaking to behold.
Wildlife viewing and bird-watching are a must in this serene place, which boasts native bunch grasses, scores of wildflower species, hawks, eagles, songbirds, and mammals large and small.
10. Check out the antique tractors at Sunrise Iron.
See this historical tractor museum located on Alder Slope. Marvel at the evolution of tractors and imagine what it was like to farm using these machines, now beautifully restored.
11. Ice skating at Enterprise City Park.
An outdoor community ice-skating rink open to the public. Family fun, open dates for different types of skating, night-lights, and competitive local hockey games are all part of the fun.
12. Take a ride on the Wallowa Union Railroad Excursion Train.
Departs from the Elgin Depot. Check their schedule at eaglecaptrainrides.com 13. Golf in Enterprise.
A nine-hole golf course is open to the public from spring to the end of summer. The scenery and atmosphere cant be beat.
14. Polar bear plunge into Wallowa Lake.
This annual New Years Day event will get your blood flowing for the rest of the year!
15. Watch the 4th of July fireworks show at the lake.
A spectacular setting for a professional pyrotechnics show. Water reflects the colors, and the blasts echo off the surrounding mountains.
16. Explore a bronze foundry.
Local foundries with nationally acclaimed artists show off sculptures and tricks of the trade.
17. Attend the Wallowa County Pancake Breakfast and Fly-In.
Share an outdoor community breakfast at Joseph Airport with the Wallowa Mountains in the background, watch notable aircraft land and park for the day-long display, experiment with a flight simulator and get the opportunity to be airborne over upper Wallowa Valley - only a few of the attractions of this annual event.
18. Attend Lostines Flea Market.
Through the e
Glass Bottom Boat
|Paddle Wallowa Lake in a Glass-Bottom Boat.
You can rent these nifty, transparent craft from Jo Paddle and they will be delivered to you, ready to launch, at the county park at the north end of the lake. They are actually made of a very sturdy plastic polymer rather than glass, but the effect is the same. In the daytime you can see the water below you, and catch a glimpse of fish and maybe even Wally (our version of the Loch Ness critter.) Nighttime voyages are special - the boats have lighted gunwales and even lights that illuminate the depths beneath you. Nighttime trips are done with a guide. For information jopaddle.com
Walk to the top of the East Moraine
|In January 2020 an 1800-acre portion of the East Moraine became county property. Creation of a management and recreation plan is underway, and official trails may not yet be designated or posted. Inquire at the Wallowa Lake state Park office (541-432-8855) for directions to public access, and guidelines for use of the area. Allow about 40-45 minutes for the hike to the top. (Note that much of the east and all of the west moraines are private property and do not allow public access.)
Tour Joseph`s art galleries
|Eight high class art galleries can be found in Joseph. Most feature talented, nationally acclaimed local and regional artists. They include: Valley Bronze, 18 S. Main Street, at the south end of town with an astounding offering of sculptures, (mostly bronze) paintings and photographs by local and regional artists. The Phinney Gallery across the street at 17 S. Main, shows sculptures, ceramic art, and paintings and includes many of artist/ owner Malcolm Phinney`s works. Galleries worth exploring also include Stewart Jones (sculpture and artisan jewelry), Missy`s Uptown Art (western art by Robert Dawson), and Aspen Grove Gallery at the north end of town, which features paintings of birds, landscapes, and the Nez Perce and other indigenous peoples. Restaurants, including Old Town cafe`, also sport local artists` work.
|Want to get into the high Wallowa`s the easy way? Take a ride up the tramway at the south end Wallowa Lake. You`ll be whisked for 4200 ft to 8200 feet elevation in about 10 minutes, with an awesome view of Wallowa Lake along the way. Once atop Mount Howard you can walk the tramway`s bistro. Take a jacket though - it can be windy and chilly at 8200 feet.
|For the ultimate tramway experience, consider returning to the ground by paragliding. Todd Weigand has been giving rides to aspiring new paragliders since 1996. Weigand, a seasoned expert who has paraglided from Mt. Howard across Hells Canyon, offers 10-15 minute rides that soar from the north slope of Mount Howard to a landing near Wallowa Lake Lodge. To arrange the flight of a lifetime, contact him through his website: www.flythewallowas.com
|You can also explore the high Wallowas on horseback. Wallowa Lake Pack Station offers daily rides to Aneroid Lake and back so you don`t have to hoof it yourself. If you arrange it ahead of time, they`ll also pack you and your camping gear into the Lakes Basin and pack you back out again whenever you wish.
Check out the shops at Wallowa Lake Village
|Gifts, souvenirs, snacks, coffees, ice cream and more are all available at the various shops within walking distance of the campground and vacation rentals.
Rent a paddle boat, Kayak, or paddle board
|Have a hankering to get out on the lake? No need to be a landlubber. You can rent a paddle-boat, kayak, or a paddle board at the Wallowa Lake Marina.
Photograph the Lake and it`s surroundings.
|Best place for this is at the Wallowa County Park at the north end of the lake, where you get the Wallowa Mountains in the background. Foreground is important, so try to get the lakeshore`s waves, flowers, or rocks along the beach in the picture as well as the lake.
Attend a Wallowa Lake State Park Ranger talk.
|Wallowa Lake State Park offers presentations about history, wildlife, and local plants and animals free and frequently. Check out their schedule, and learn more about this incredible landscape.
|Play disc golf at Wallowa Lake State Park. In the summer of 2019, Wallowa State Park installed a nine-hole disc golf (frisbee) course on the treed portion of the park between the campground and the Wallowa River. The park will provide the discs, or if you prefer, you can purchase a set at the Sports Corral in Joseph.
|"Iwetemlaykin" is Nez Perce for "Place by the Lake." This State Natural Reserve was a camping site for the Nez Perce in late summer and early fall when they harvested the plentiful runs of Sockeye salmon that returned to the lake each year.Trails lead from parking area to Pete`s Pond and beyond. If you walk quietly, you may spot a deer or other wildlife. This site is part of the Terminal Moraine, and the ridge tops are sprinkled with large glacial erratic boulders.
|The village at Wallowa Lake is the St. Andrews or Augusta National of mini-golf courses. There are three nicely astro-turfed courses. Eagle Cap Chalets, Joes`s Place, and the Alpine House, each with it;s own challenges.
|Wallowa Lake has produced world-record kokanee and gigantic mackinaw (lake trout). You needn`t hook a record fish to have fun, or a good meal. Rent fishing gear and boats at the Wallowa Lake Marina. Be sure you have a current Oregon fishing license- which you can purchase at the marina.
|If quiet pursuits like fishing are not your cup of tea, maybe go-karts are a better choice for your youngsters. Wallowa Lake Village has a go-kart track right next to the horse stable.
Try the Thai Food Cart, Khao Neaow
|Plunked next to the go-karts you`ll find a food cart that serves very good, freshly made, authentic Thai food. There`s a picnic table or two for eating.
|Wallowa Lake and the Wallowa Lake State Park are great places to bird-watch. Look for water ouzels and spotted sandpipers along the river, osprey, eagles, mergansers, and other birds along the lakefront.
Listen to the river, the wind, and the birds
|Sometimes getting away from it all means getting away from it all. Find a quiet spot along the river or in the forest, and just sit and listen. Inhale and take in the forest smells. Try to ID birds by their songs and sight.
|Both ends of Wallowa Lake offer safe swimming areas: Wallowa Lake State Park on the south and the Wallowa County Park on the north, just outside Joseph. Keep in mind that the lake water comes from mountain rivers and it tends to be chilly.
Pay your respects at Old Cheif Joseph`s grave
|The father of Cheif Joseph, of Nez Perce War repute, was named Tuekakas, and also known as Old Joseph. He passed away in 1872, and his remains are interred at the burial site on the northwest side of the lake. There`s a parking pullout, an interpretive sign, and a short trail that leads to his grave. Traditionally, Nez Perce and other visitors leave a small gift to remind his spirit of the Wallowas, or provide comfort in his after life.
Stop and read the restored classical Wallowa Lake Historical Marker
|Just past the Wallowa County Park at the north end of Wallowa Lake there`s a pull-out with a brand new version of a historic marker. It provides updated information about Wallowa Lake and it`s moraines, and it`s worth stopping to read and ponder the landscape.
Attend the Shake the Lake 4th of July fireworks
|Virtually everyone in the county turns out for this, so expect traffic and plenty of people. Lot of people park around the shore of the lake to watch the show, which starts on a barge anchored just offshore from the county park at the north end of the lake. Get there early. The official fireworks start around 9, as darkness envelopes the landscape, but before the official show gets off with a bang, lots of other people provide a credible display of their own fireworks.
Tour the bronze statues
|Downtown Joseph has 18 Iconic bronze statues that represent everything from wildlife to buckaroos to western ladies and Nez Perce Indians. You can start at the Josephy Center at the south end of town and back to take them all in.
Tour a bronze foundry: Valley Bronze
|The Valley Bronze Foundry on Aspen Street in Joseph offers tours daily. You`ll learn the exacting process through which world-class bronze sculptures are made. Lean more and reserve your place on a tour at the Valley Bronze Gallery at 18 South Main Street, Joseph. 541-432-7445
Shop Joseph`s unique stores
|It`s why most people come to Joseph. You can find almost anything here. Favorites include Joseph Hardware a store that has everything from refrigerators to rubberbands, along with everything you could wish for in a classical hardware store. As you stroll main street look for The Dog Spot for high end,fun, pet supplies, Copper Creek for books, games and treats for everyone in the family. Teal for trendy clothing, Mad Mary`s for everything eclectic and wonderful, Anton`s for high-end kitchen kitchenware and awesome hats, and Bee Crow Bee, which will lure you in with irresistible scents. Also check out the unique stores at the josephy center, Wallowology, and the Wallowa County Museum.
Shop the Farmers Market
|Fresh food and crafts. You`ll find garden fresh veggies, meat from local farms - including buffalo and goat, along with recipes for cooking it. There are hand-crafted utensils, cards and artisian wares, and music, too. Every saturday from 9-2PM in downtown joseph. Support local farmers!
Visit the Josephy Center exhibits
|The Josephy Center for Arts and Culture is Wallowa County`s art center. It was named for Alvin Josephy, A WWII combat journalist who became interested in native American history and was widely respected by tribes, and wrote several seminal, award-winning books about American Indians (500 Nations; The Nez Perce Indians nd the Opening of the West, and others.) The Josephy Center showcases regional artists and offers a wide variety of art classes for children, adults and families. their museum shop offers the work of local artists and artisans, along with a great selection of books. Upstairs, you`ll find a very informative display about the Wal`ma Ni Mi Pu- Cheif Joseph`s band, and about the Nez Perce in Wallowa County. The upstairs also houses the Josephy Library and a lending library about the Nez Perce tribe and their culture and history.
Take a Josephy Center class
|The Josephy Center for Arts and Culture, 403 N Main Street Joseph 541-432-0505 offers classes in painting, drawing, and photography. This year they have a catalogue published for all their summer activities. You can learn printmaking, try your hand at wood sculpture, or experiment with night sky photography. for more information go to their website: josephy.org
Explore the Wallowa County Museum
|110 S Main Street, Joseph. 541-432-6095. Where else can you see an actual Columbian Mammoth tooth found just outside of Joseph? includes, as most historical museums do, lots of western and cowboy lore, as well as natural history. Exhibits recount the Nez Perce and pioneer history of the county.
|It`s pronounced "wal-ow-OL-ogy", and it`s a natural history center for adults and children that includes exhibits about east-side old growth forests, salmon, lamprey and sturgeon, geology, and wild pollinators. There`s an activity room for kids of all ageswith microscopes, fossils, rocks, plants, bugs and other stuff to look at and lots of fun things to do. There`s a small store as well, and you can buy maps, backpacks, books, and nature-related art here. www.wallowology.org
Go for a Discovery Walk
|Wallowology offers free "Discovery Walks" led by a local naturalist. Lengths and destinations are determined by participant interests and stamina. Walks are appropriate for families and children of all ages and usually last about an hour.You may explore Wallowa Lake State Park, portions of the moraine, forests, rivers, birding or other places and subjects of interest. There is no charge. Check with Wallowology for dys and times. www.wallowology.org
Visit Stein Distillery
|Stein Distillery, at 604 N Main Street, Joseph, was founded in 2009. It is family run, and distills only grains grown on the family farm here in Wallowa County. Their visitor`s room offers tasting, and sale of distilled spirits that include Oregon`s first true Bourbon whiskey, an authentic Rye whiskey, and SteinShine, a more refined breed of moonshine distilled from 75% corn and 25% barley. Distillery tours are available with some advanced notice. 541-432-2009
Pedal the rails with Rail-Riders
|Yes, those are railroad tracks that run through Enterprise, Joseph, Wallowa and along the river to Minam and beyond. At the present, conventional trains don`t use them. But you can ride the rails more silently via the Joseph Branch Railriders. Founded in 2015, the Railriders are ingenious small pedal-cars that one or two passengers pedal along the rails. Trips start at Joseph, travel 6 miles to Enterprise, and pedal back. Along the way you will see wildlife, and have an astounding view of the Wallowa Mountains. The round trip takes about 2 hours, and you`ll be accompanied by a guide. Reservations are essential, as the trips, which run 3 times per day from May 18- October 6, are popular. jbrailriders.com 541-786-6149
Time-travel in an old time photograph
|Want to capture your best, most western self? Stop by Pioneer Portraits, at 203C North Main Street, Joseph. Pioneer Portraits will provide costumes, and an unforgettable Wallowa Mountain background right there in their studio, and you`ll leave with evidence that you spent time in the old west. Walk-in photos are available Wednesday-Sunday, but call ahead to be sure you have your preferred time slot. 541-366-8608
Get fishing gear and tips
|The Joseph Fly Shoppe, 203A North Main Street, Joseph, 541-432-4343 josephflyshoppe.com is the go-to place for conversations and tips about fish and fishing, as well as Orvis and other great gear. Their website provides a wealth of information, but sharing your passion with owner Rob Lamb is always time well spent. The Sports Corral, just to the north at 401 North Main Street, Joseph 541-432-4363, sportscorral.com also stocks fishing gear and a wide variety of other sporting and western gear, including clothing. They are also the go to dealer of firearms and ammo in Wallowa County.
Hike the Hurricane Creek Trail
|One of the best hikes in the Wallowas is also one of the most easily accessible. Hurricane Creek Road (USFS Road 8205) dead ends at the trailhead. Most hikers stroll the relatively easy 3 miles to Slick Rock and the waterfall that tumbles over a marble and basalt cliff, and then stroll back to the trailhead for a total 6 mile hike. You get nice views of the alpine splendor of Sacajawea and the Hurricane Creek Trail, you`ll find yourself in the Lake Basins. Be sure you have a USFS or other Federal pass for trailhead parkin. You`ll have to fill out a wilderness permit at the trailhead as well.
Explore Oregon`s highest lake
|Want more than just a hike? Turn off the Hurricane Creek Trail about 1/4 mile from the trailhead onto the Falls Creek Trail (1807A) and challenge yourself on the ascent to Legore Lake, the highest lake in Oregon at 8,950 feet. The trail is rugged and rises 4,000 feet in 4 miles, passing the old, very defunct Legore Mine along the way, But your reward will be extraordinary scenery and just maybe a close encounter with the Wallowa`s mountain goats or bighorn sheep once you get into the nose bleed section.
Camp at the USFS Hurricane Creek Campground
|This small, cool campground along Hurricane Creek is the polar opposite of Wallowa Lake Park. Pit toilets, no crowds, no camp host, no reservations, and only 8 campsites. It`s a quiet respite from the rest of the world if you are lucky enough to find an open site. Open June 15- October 31. From Joseph, drive west on Airport Road to Hurricane Creek Road. The campground is about four miles up the road at the USFS boundary.
Raft Hells Canyon
|Hanker for real adventure? Sign up for a raft trip through Hells Canyon and its class 4 to 5 rapids, with Winding Waters River Expeditions, 204 East Wallowa Avenue, Joseph 541-886-5078. windingwatersrafting.com Locally grown produce and meats grace their tables, the food and service are outstanding and the guides are experts at safety navigatingveven the most daunting white water.
Get a Massage
|Joseph is replete with massage therapists, and related professionals. Try Exhale Day Spa on the north end of town for a complete make-over, or other therapists including Bloom Massage (josephbloommassage.com 601B N Main St. 541-398-0159), and Art of Massage (9 N Main St, 541-624-2000).
Get a new `do
|Wallowa county has no shortage of hair stylists and barber shops. Amaze and surprise your friends when you return home with a new look, along with a refreshed, revitalized persona. In Joseph try Serenity Salon 541-432-1010 on Main Street. In Enterprise, great places for new do`s include Belle Salon, 117 E Main Street (541-426-2323) where you can also have a manicure and/or pedicure, and Zel`s Beauty Bar, 108 W. Main Street, 541-426-9357.
Explore Sunrise Iron
|Want to escape to a simpler time? It`s easily accessible just west of Enterprise at Sunrise Iron-erl McLaughlin`s extraordinary collection of tractors, rakes, bailers, harvesters and other equipment from yesteryear. The collection includes 35 tractors that date as far back as 1913 for gas powered and into the 1800`s for steam-powered behemoths. Address: 65708 Sunrise road, Enterprise. Call ahead to arrange a time to see this superb collection. Phone: 541-426-4407.
Cycle the bike routes map
|Have a bike and don`t know where to go? The Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce has a great map of bike routes on the roads less traveled in the Wallowa Valley and beyond. Call or stop by the Chamber at 309 S River Street in enterprise. Need to buy a or have yours repaired? Outlaw Motorsports at 504 NW 1st Street, Enterprise, 541-426-341 is our local dealer of Giant Bicyles, as they also repair and tune up all makes and models of bicycles.
Bronze Foundry Tour
|In Joseph, there`s Valley Bronze, but Enterprise has it`s own world-class foundaries: Parks Bronze and TW Bronze, both on Golf Course Road in Enterprise. Parks Bronze (331 Golf Course Road, 541-398-0398 www.parksbronze.com) offers tours of ot`s foundry and the bronze making process. TW Bronze (202 Golf Course Road, 541-398-0380, twbronze.com) has a gallery, and owner Tim Parks would also be happy to show you his foundry with some advance warning.
Fishing: Marr Pond
|It`s a scenic pond on the outskirts of enterprise that offers fishing for stocked trout. There are also trails to walk if you are not into fishing.A former log pond and long vanished mill, Marr Pond is now a small ecological refuge that`s easy to get to and a great place to introduce kids and adults to the fun of fishing. To get to Marr Pond, drive south on Depot Street from downtown Enterprise. Turn west (right) onto West Alamo Street and continue past the Wallowa County Road Department yards onto Marr Pond Lane. Drive to the end of Marr Pond Lane, and then walk to Marr Pond, directly ahead.
Make your own glass sculptures and cups
|Moonshine Glass Art just off South River Street offers graceful and awe-inspiring glass art as well as more traditional wares like cups, vases and decorative plates. They also offer classes and experiences that let you make artisan glassware yourself, contact them at 541-398-2090, or stop by and watch glass art being made before your eyes.
|enterprise offers a first class antique store: Favorite Finds on Main at 300 West Main Street. Owner Sondra Lozier will be happy to help you explore her extensive offerings to find just what you are looking for or even something you are not looking for. If you are in town on Monday or Tuesday, stop by the Soroptimists Thrift Store in the basement of the historic Odd Fellows Hall on NW 1st Street, next to the Enterprise Library. It`s an adventure, but their store includes a silent auction rack where the very best of their donated finds, which are often rare, valuable, and bona fide antiques, can be found. They also have a great selection of used books for sale. Most items (except auction items) are between $0.25 and $2.00 and proceeds go to support education and other worthy community causes.
Visit the Bookloft and Skylight Gallery
|The Bookloft, 107 N Main Street in Enterprise, is the quintessential bookstore specializing in, well, just about everything. They offer a great selection of books about Wallowa County`s history, natural history, and foods, as well as outdoor guides and great fiction and non-fiction of every stripe. There are used books as well. And espresso, organic tead, snacks, and chocolate. One of the very best thingsyou`ll find here is the Skylight Gallery where Davis Jensen`s superb photography, Moonshine Glass Arts` creations, and local pottery by Olaf can be found. There are all sorts of wonderous things here. 541-426-3351 bookloftoregon.net
Spend a relaxing day on the fairway
|Tee off on the 9-hole course, practice putting or your chip shots on the practice greens, hit a bucket of range balls, grab a drink from the Clubhouse Bar and enjoy your day! 66098 Golf Course Road, Enterprise, 541-426-3246
Visit the historic Carnegie Enterprise Public Library
|Steel mogul Andrew Carnegie built public libraries in small towns across the US in the early 1900`s. The Enterprise Public Library 101 NE 1st St. Enterprise, 541-426-3906 is on the Register of National Historic Places. Now restored in detail, the library still serves it`s original purpose. Librarian Denine Rautenstrauch will be happy to show you around. There`s also usually a book sale on going in the basement.