Situated between the south end of a scenic glacial lake and the towering peaks of the Wallowa Mountains, Wallowa Lake State Park is an ideal base camp for wilderness treks and watersports fun.
The large day-use area along the lake features a beach, spots for fishing, picnic tables and two reservable picnic areas (one covered). Another reservable picnic area is along the Wallowa River. The park continues a mile upriver at Little Alps day-use Area (opens May 21), located between the east and west forks of the Wallowa River. This quiet area has picnicking along the river and access to the Wallowa Lake Trailhead, gateway to the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area.
The Wallowa Lake Marina (opens May 21) offers moorage rentals and all manner of watercraft for rent, from kayaks to motorboats. The marina store sells fishing licenses, tackle, bait, camping supplies, ice, snacks and souvenirs. A life jacket loaner station is available at the marina. Do not swim, float, paddle or boat without a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket, and making sure it fits properly, saves lives.
Universal Access: Two sites and both yurts are accessible to campers with disabilities.
Both yurts and several campsites are open and available to reserve all year. Services and site availability may be limited Oct. 1 – mid-May. Water is also shut off to individual sites from October-May 18. During the winter, first-come, first-served sites are available as plowing and maintenance allows.
The surrounding community at Wallowa Lake is reminiscent of a Swiss alpine village. It features a tramway to the top of 8,200-foot Mt. Howard with views of the Wallowa Lake basin and the Eagle Cap Wildnerness. The unspoiled wilderness area has small, sparkling lakes scattered at the base of 10,000-foot peaks and is a paradise for hikers, horseback riders and naturalists.
Several cultural sites and significant landmarks are also nearby. Hat Point Overlook, 54 miles northeast, overlooks the Snake River’s Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in North America. Joseph Canyon Viewpoint is 42 miles north of the park and features stunning views of the canyon that was the winter home of the Chief Joseph Band of the Nez Perce tribe. Just north of the lake, Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site and Nez Perce National Historical Park honor the ancestral homeland of the Nez Perce.
The park is open year round for camping and day use. Day use is open during daylight hours; exact hours are posted in day-use areas.
Wi-fi is not available through Wallowa Lake State Park. However, many local merchants and public libraries have the service.
Wallowa Lake Marina sells boat slip reservations during the summer season: wallowalakemarina.com or 541-432-9115.
Wallowa Lake Marina sells fishing licenses and gear from mid-May to mid-September. Check store hours and information at wallowalakemarina.com or 541-432-9115.
The park has a beach and swim area on Wallowa Lake. All swimming is unsupervised, and you are responsible for your own safety. Before you enter the water, you should judge your swimming skills against possible strong currents, cold water, underwater objects and steep drop-offs. Remember, the river and lake are filled by snow runoff and remain cold year round. Please bring and wear a personal flotation device and swim with a buddy.
The park is open year-round, with some service changes October through mid-May:
One vehicle is included in the site registration fee. This includes one towed vehicle.
Wallowa Lake State Park has five site types. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring, and access to restrooms and showers.
Sites vary in length and may have trees near the parking pad. All vehicles, including tow vehicles, must fit with all tires on the parking pad without driving off the pavement. Please read site alerts to make sure the site will accommodate your camping equipment.
If the towing vehicle does not fit in the site's paved parking pad, you must park it in the designated overflow area. For example, if your camp trailer is 25 feet long and you’re towing it with a 22-foot vehicle. You will need a site at least 47 feet long.
Call the park at 541-432-4185 if you have concerns about your RV length or parking in the park.
Campfires are allowed only in park fire pits and must be put out if you leave the immediate area.
Fires may be restricted or prohibited due to high fire hazard conditions. Campfire restrictions will be posted on this website and at the park.
Wallowa Lake State Park sells firewood between sites C1 and C4.
Dumpsters and recycling bins are available at the trash compactor near the end of D loop. Dumpsters are for garbage generated in the park; no home garbage is allowed.
Under OAR 736-010-0040 (6) a person shall leave garbage, recyclables, sewage or waste in a park area only in the designated containers provided.
Registered campers may use a metal detector Oct. 1 - April 30 in the overnight camping area only: loops A, B, C, D, E and the Group Camp area. No permit is required, but you must carry your paid camping receipt.
Call the park to discuss your plans, possible permits, fees and insurance requirements. Depending on the event, you may need a special use permit. Examples include:
Smoking is prohibited on state park property, including in day use areas, with the following exceptions:
• Intermittent generator use is allowed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m in A, B, C, and E loops.
• Park staff may ask campers to shut off generators due to exhaust or decibels.
• Please be considerate of your neighbors.
• Continuous generator use is not permitted. If you need continuous power for medical equipment, please reserve a hookup site.
Pets are welcome at Wallowa Lake State Park! For the safety and comfort of all park visitors, we ask that you keep pets confined or on a leash not more than six feet long and under physical control at all times. Horses are not considered pets.
Mule deer are very common at Wallowa Lake State Park. Though they may seem friendly, they are not tame. These are wild, unpredictable animals that have lost their fear of humans. In the spring, does (female deer) with their fawns may attack to protect their young. Fall is mating season and the bucks (male deer) can become quite aggressive towards other deer and even humans. Deer also bring tics into the campground.
For the safety of visitors, their pets and the resident deer, please follow these rules:
You may be cited for violating these rules. Under OAR 738-010-0055 (6) and (7) it is a Class D Violation to give or offer food items to any wildlife or come in contact with any wildlife within a park area.
Dogs are permitted off leash under voice control in the designated area near the marina. Elsewhere, they must be leashed. 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 park user 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.
Wallowa Lake State Park was created to provide public access to the lake and the pleasant forested area at the inlet of the Wallowa River. The original 165 acres along the Wallowa Lake shore was acquired between 1941 and 1954.
Trees present are cottonwood, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, with some western larch and grand fir. It is extensively developed for both day use and overnight camping. The park is popular with anglers, hikers, swimmers and boaters.
Wallowa Lake is a glacial lake at the base of the heavily glaciated Wallowa Mountains. This range is in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and includes the renowned Eagle Cap Wilderness. Wallowa Lake State Park is a base from which visitors can explore the mountain country and the approaches to the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area on the Snake River.
6/4/22 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Wallowa Lake State Park in Joseph, OR
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