Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site

Near LaGrande, Oregon, United States

Set amidst the stunning backdrop of the Wallowa Mountains, the entire area is part of the ancestral homeland of the Nez Perce Tribe, and is a sacred place to the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. "Iwetemlaykin" is the Nez Perce name for this area of the Wallowa Lake basin. Pronounced ee-weh-TEMM-lye-kinn, the name translates to "at the edge of the lake." The property is adjacent to a Nez Perce National Historical Park, site of Old Chief Joseph Gravesite and Cemetery.

Short trails with spectacular views of the Wallowa Mountains pass Knight's Pond, a cool summer oasis and a peaceful respite for hikers. Look for spring and summer wildflowers during your walk. You also may catch glimpses of deer, fox, bear and raptors.

mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use Year Round
COVID-19 may affect dates
mdi-cellphone Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 541-432-4185 Wallowa Lake Management Unit
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Amenities & Features

Questions

mdi-help-circle-outline General

Can I camp at this park?

No. Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site is a day use park only. Park is open during daylight hours.

Can I ride my bike or ATV on the trails in this day use park?
  • Bicycles and ATV's are not allowed on this park property.
  • Due to the sensitivity of the area we ask that all users stay on the trail and all dogs stay on their leashes to protect resources.
  • The trails are for foot traffic only.  Using baby strollers is allowed.
Can I hunt or use a firearm on the park property?
  • A person may not hunt, pursue, trap, kill, injure or molest any wildlife or disturb their habitats on any park property.
  • The State Park does not allow discharge of any firearm, bow and arrow, slingshot, pellet gun, or other weapon capable of injuring humans or wildlife or damaging park property.

mdi-help-circle-outline What's Allowed

Can I have a fire at the park?
  • Fires are not allowed on this park property.  This would also include fireworks of any kind.
  • Due to the sensitivity of the area we ask that all users stay on the trail and all dogs stay on their leashes.
Can I walk with my child using a stroller?
  • Strollers are allowed on the trails.  They are light weight and will not destroy resources.
  • Due to the sensitivity of the area we ask that all users stay on the trail and all dogs stay on their leashes.
Smoking: Is smoking allowed at Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site?

Smoking is prohibited at this Site unless you are inside your personal vehicle.

mdi-help-circle-outline Animals

Can I ride my horse on the site?
  • Horses are not allowed on the park property. Foot traffic only.
  • Due to the sensitivity of the area we ask that all users stay on the trail and all dogs stay on their leashes.
Why do I need to keep my dog on a leash?

Even if the park or trail looks empty, it’s important to leash your pet for their own protection and as a courtesy to others. Another hiker could be coming around the next bend.

In addition, leashing your dogs prevents them from tangling with wild animals and other dogs, getting lost, ransacking garbage, damaging plant life, dispersing invasive weed seeds, or being hit by a car. It also avoids a citation!

There are many hundreds of miles of trails and public lands in the county where your dog is permitted off-leash. For more information, see our Pets in Parks page.

What kind of wildlife might I find at the park?
  • It is common to see deer, fox and many birds on this park property.  You also may encounter cougar or bear. 
Are pets allowed on park trails?

Pets are welcome, but they must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet and kept under your physical control at all times. Horses are not considered pets and are not allowed in this park.

Due to the sensitivity of the area, we ask that all users stay on the trail. People and pets off the trail will spread invasive weeds throughout the park and may destroy sensitive habitat.

Please remember pack out trash and clean up after your pets.  Pet waste disposal bags and garbage cans are at each entrance.

For more information, see our Pets in Parks page.

For more questions, review our statewide FAQ

History

Opened in 2009. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department bought most of the property in 2007, using State Lottery dollars to fund $3.2 million of the $4.1 million purchase. The Oregon State Parks Trust, which holds the other share of the title to the land, paid the $900,000 balance with $300,000 donations from each of the following: The Nez Perce Tribe; the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Brochures and Maps

mdi-file-pdf-box Iwetemlaykin history and trail guide

Photos & Video

Some parks are open for day-use and camping, with reduced services. Check the Park Status Map and FAQ for details. Campfire restrictions may be in place.