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Oregon State Parks

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USA Parks
Central & Eastern Region
Wallowa Lake Highway Forest State Scenic Corridor
Western Meadow Lark ©
Western Meadow Lark
Keep On Leash ©
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This day-use site is located along the Wallowa River and is a popular fishing and wildlife viewing area. Steelhead fishing is good during the spring and fall. The canyon rises steeply on both sides of the road and is frequented by deer, elk and bear. The slopes of the canyon are forested primarily with pine. Flowers are abundant in the spring. The Wallowa River is clear, cold and popular with fly fishing enthusiasts because it can be waded in many locations.
History of the Area
Located in northeastern Oregon, this scenic corridor is a stretch of Highway 82 that runs through the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The highway was established as part of the state's secondary road system in 1917 and has since been recognized for its stunning natural beauty.

The area surrounding what would become known as State Route 82 had long been inhabited by Native American tribes such as Nez Perce before European settlers arrived during westward expansion. In fact, it's named after Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe who fought to preserve his people's land rights against encroaching white settlers.

In terms of development into a tourist attraction, much credit goes to William L Finley and Herman T Bohlman who were early advocates for wildlife conservation around turn-of-the-century America. Their photographs showcasing birdlife along with their lobbying efforts led to President Theodore Roosevelt establishing several national wildlife refuges across Oregon including one at Wallowa Lake which helped increase public interest towards these areas.

Over time improvements were made on SR-82 making travel easier while preserving its picturesque qualities; bridges replaced ferries over rivers like Grande Ronde River & Minam River improving connectivity between towns located within or near forest boundaries like La Grande & Enterprise respectively thus boosting local economies via tourism influxes from visitors drawn by recreational opportunities offered here - camping, fishing etc.,

Wallowa Lake Highway Forest State Scenic Corridor is

1. Chief Joseph Mountain Trail: A challenging 11-mile trail offering panoramic views of the Wallowa Mountains and valleys.

2. Hurricane Creek Trail: This moderate, 14-mile round trip hike features stunning alpine scenery including waterfalls, wildflowers, and wildlife sightings.

3. Ice Lake Trail: An intense uphill climb over a distance of approximately eight miles that rewards hikers with breathtaking vistas of ice-blue lakes surrounded by snow-capped peaks.

4. West Fork Wallowa River Loop Hike: Approximately twenty miles long loop featuring river crossings, meadows filled with wildflowers in summer months and spectacular mountainous landscapes throughout the journey.

5. East Moraine Trails System - Lakeside Route & High Ridge Route: These trails offer an easy to moderate hiking experience along the eastern moraine at Wallowa lake providing beautiful scenic overlooks on both routes.

6. Imnaha Divide South-Indian Crossing Horse Camp Connector: It's a moderately trafficked out-and-back trail located near Enterprise which is primarily used for horseback riding but also suitable for hiking enthusiasts looking forward to explore wilderness areas within this corridor.

7. Aneroid Lake via East Fork Lostine RiverTrailhead: The route offers magnificent view points overlooking Eagle Cap Wilderness area while leading towards serene Aneroid lake nestled amidst mountains.

8. Minam:Lostine Corridor: A popular backpacking destination known for its diverse flora-fuana, pristine riverscapes as well as opportunities to spot local wildlife species like elk or deer during your trekking expedition.

9. Bear Creek Overlook: Moderate difficulty level day-hiking option presenting picturesque valley views from topmost point after ascending through dense forested path.

10. Western Rim National Recreation Trial: A multi-use recreational pathway designed specifically keeping bikers,horse riders apart from regular trekkers in mind; it provides access into remote sections across Hell's Canyon region.

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Nearby Hotels

1. Start by heading east on Interstate 84 from Portland or west if coming from Boise.
2. Take exit 261 toward La Grande onto US:30 E/Adams Ave.
3. Continue driving through downtown La Grande until you reach the intersection with OR:82/Westwood St.
4. Turn left onto OR:82/Westwood St and continue following it as it becomes Island Avenue after crossing over the Grand Ronde River Bridge.
5. Stay on OR:82 for approximately 50 miles until you arrive at Joseph, a charming town nestled near Wallowa Lake.

Once you have reached Joseph, there are two options to access the forest state scenic corridor depending on your starting point within town:

Option A: Starting Point - Downtown Joseph
6A(a). From Main Street in downtown Joseph (OR:350), head south towards South Beach Road/Main Access Road leading directly into Wallowa Lake State Park.

Option B: Starting Point - North of Downtown Joseph
6B(b). If north of downtown along Nw First Street/Northlake Rd., turn right onto NE Eastgate Dr./Walloowa Lp Rd which will lead straight into Wallowa County Fairgrounds parking area adjacent to the southern entrance of The Tramway road that ascends Mt Howard where panoramic views await!

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Oregon State Parks