Today's Stop on the Land Use Trail: Wallowa Lake

Throughout this summer, we'll be featuring stops on our new Land Use Trail. Today, July 10: Wallowa Lake, a place of special significance to generations of Oregonians.

Just outside the charming town of Joseph, Wallowa Lake was formed by moraines left over from the last ice age. These moraines can be over 900 ft and make for a dramatic backdrop, with the Wallowa Mountains—“the Oregon Alps”—ringing the south end of the lake. Wallowa Lake has served as a recreation destination since 1880, with Wallowa Lake State Park and numerous private lodgings in the area. 1000 Friends won a successful challenge against incompatible development on the lake's most prominent moraine in the 1990s.

Key Fact: The lake was formed by periods of glaciations that started 3 million years ago and ended around 15,000 BC.
Another Cool Fact: The world’s largest caught kokanee salmon was pulled out of the Wallowa Lake.

Visit: Now is the best time to visit the lake. The area offers a variety of lodging, camping and recreation, as well as good food, art, and attractions in the nearby towns of Joseph and Enterprise. Click here to see a list of events in Wallowa County this summer. 

Learn more:

Going to Wallowa Lake this summer? Share your photos with us! We'll pass them on.

See the whole Land Use Trail, featuring exceptional Oregon natural places, communities, and working lands from every corner of our state.

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Text by Nathen Lamb, Communications Intern