Wallowa Lake State Park

Joseph, OR: 18 June, 2016

Crowded State Park

Well, you can easily see why this State Park is always booked!  Right on the lake with a marina and easy access to trails leading into Eagle Cap Wilderness and adjacent to several resorts, a tram up into the mountains, bumper boats and putt-putt golf for the little ones - this place has something for everyone.

Camping Strategy

I knew weekends were booked solid - so I planned to arrive on a Sunday and get a tent site big enough and sunny enough to use my solar for dry camping.  I didn't want to reserve a tent space in advance because some sun is so essential.  I snagged a site that was sunny and just barely long enough for the trailer and the Pilot.  I could self-register for one night.  So, after checking out other sunny spots, I went online and reserved for the week (Monday through Thursday).  

During the week, I checked out several forest service campgrounds nearby.  The campground at Hurricane Creek had a couple of spots that would have worked for my rig and was pretty close to town for visiting friends and family - but was crowded even mid-week.  Lostine River has several campgrounds; I checked the first two; Canyon CG was appropriate only for tenters with 4-wheel drive.  Williamson was very nice - long, level site spurs.  Very shady but I figured it would work for a few days over the weekend.  Best of all - it was empty!

But, as it happens, a friend I am visiting works summers at a Methodist Church Camp - sort of an all-purpose family camp, retreat center.  They have several RV sites used by clients or guests so my friend got permission for me to stay the three weekend days that the State Park was booked!  So, instead of driving all the way over to the Lostine River CG for the weekend, I only had to move a mile to the Church Camp right behind the State Park!  Very convenient and the people are so lovely.  

So nice, in fact, that I may consider coming back sometime to volunteer.

The river is fast but beautiful; this was taken at the 'River Chapel', a small sitting area at the camp.

Bear scat sited, but actual critter sitings are pretty mundane

The mule deer, white tails, and the chipmunks are really quite cheeky.  They wander through campsites, look in my windows, and generally do not seem at all disturbed by all the people.

This is not a critter

In addition to the beautiful scenery, visiting a friend, I also have family nearby!  My great-nephews and their mother are spending the summer with their grandparents in Enterprise - just a few miles away.  

One of the twins - they are at a 'busy' age and couldn't be bothered to pose.  This is Wyatt; he's 3.


  1. We are following along behind you. We really enjoyed our stay at Wallowa. Great hiking and wildflowers. We

    1. The hiking is spectacular isn't it?! Gateway to the Eagle Cap Wilderness!


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