Wallowa Lake is The Perfect Getaway in Oregon

Wallowa Lake
Jason W Lacey / Flickr

 

Wallowa Lake, one of the 7 wonders of Oregon is commonly referred to as the Swiss Alps of Oregon.

Two lateral moraines form the lake’s west and east shores. A terminal moraine—the end of the glaciers’ path—forms the lake’s north end. The Wallowa River flows into Wallowa Lake from the south, and out of the lake’s north end. From that point, the water begins its journey to the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.

Desirae / Flickr
Desirae / Flickr

WHAT IS A WALLOWA?

Wallowa is a Nez Perce word for a type of fish trap built by Native Americans in the river just below the outfall of Wallowa Lake.

Ben / Flickr
Ben / Flickr 

This place has everything to offer for the whole family. Wallowa Lake and the Wallowa Mountains offer breathtaking views, and lots of free-roaming deer. If you keep your eyes peeled, you can almost always see bald eagles too. Many have compared the Wallowa Mountains to the Swiss Alps.

And you can always stay or eat in Enterprise, or Joseph year-round and both are close to the lake.

P7193106

Downtown Enterprise, Oregon

 

Jason W Lacey / Flickr
Jason W Lacey / Flickr

Here’s another incredible shot of Eagle Cap, which was captured from Mirror Lake in the Wallowa Mountains.

wallowa mountains
Gary Dawson / Flickr

 

 

For those who love to stay in cabins, there are a couple of options. The Wallow Lake Resort offers lake cabin rentals for as little as $75 a night, which you can see one cabin here in this video.

Here is a new but rustic cabin, with a vintage charm. Something also worth mentioning is this resort has cabins which are pet friendly.

wallowa lake cabin
wallowalakeresort 

 

Another perfect vacation spot here is the Wallowa Lake Lodge, on the shores of glacial Wallowa Lake. Wallowa Lake Lodge sits at 4,400 feet elevation at the south end of a glacial lake. The Wallowa lake cabins are available year-round.

wallowalakelodge
Steve Larson / wallowalakelodge

The historic Wallowa Lake Lodge is a peaceful retreat in Oregon’s spectacular Wallowa Mountains. Like one of the great national park lodges, but without the crowds, the lodge offers wilderness hiking, fishing, boating and more, just steps from its front door.

wallowalakelodge.com
Steve Larson /wallowalakelodge.com

If you’re looking to just pop a tent, and enjoy the great outdoors camping is an excellent option here.

Camping at the Wallowa Lake State Park has excellent reviews, where you can get a tent site for around $20.

wallowa lake state park
Iiya Katsenlson / Flickr

 

Best time to visit Wallowa Lake, Oregon

In summer, days are long and warm, and nights are cool. Day temperatures in July and August are in the mid 80s (Fahrenheit), dropping into the 40s at night.

I think it goes without saying if you’re looking for a place to hike and explore, or just take a perfect vacation, Wallowa Lake is the spot. Still not convinced this place is heaven on Earth? Here’s a few more photos to sell you.

 

wallowa lake
A.F. Litt / Flickr

Epic.jpg

Wallowa Lake

Precipe

wolf
ODFW / Flickr

Wallowa Lake (blue)

How do you get to Wallowa Lake?

From Portland it’s almost 6 hours, around 333 miles. We have included a map here to show you!

Kurios in Portland
  • Val Hughes VanRheen

    Great article Tyler! However, please note it is Wallowa Lake with an A at the end, Wallowa Lake Lodge, etc. 🙂

    • Tyler James

      Haha thank you, I fixed it. 🙂

  • MrSkrimps

    Is it swim-able?

  • Kacie Young

    Also the very top picture is not Wallowa Lake. That is Mirror Lake in the Eaglecap Wilderness