Wallowa Lake is a ribbon lake in Eastern Oregon formed by glaciers. The water is so clear here that the locals use it as their drinking water. Considered one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon, this beautiful lake is well worth the trip for your next vacation. Nestled in the Wallowa Mountains, Wallowa Lake offers a wide range of camping and recreational opportunities. The nearby town of Joseph also offers tourist activities such as art galleries, sculptures, and other charms.
Table of Contents
- RV Camping At Wallowa Lake
- Catherine Creek State Park Campground
- Indian Lake Campground
- Mountain View Motel & RV Park
- Scenic Meadows RV Park
- Wallowa River RV Park
- Wallowa Lake Recreational Activities
Wallowa Lake is located in Eastern Oregon, close to the Idaho border. It is about two and a half hours from Walla Walla, Washington, and four hours from Boise, Idaho. To reach Wallowa Lake, you’ll want to take OR-82 E to get to the town of Joseph and nearby campgrounds.
Wallowa Lake experiences all four seasons, including hot summers and snowy winters. In the summer, you can expect daytime temperatures to reach the high 80s, with evening temperatures falling quickly. Summer thunderstorms can be expected from time to time as the Wallowa Mountains create their own water. Fall weather is relatively mild; with the days shortening, the warm weather often extends well into October. The Winter season is cold, averaging around 10 to 20 degrees, but it is the ideal weather for outdoor winter activities. On the other hand, spring is a mix of warm and rainy but perfect for fishing.
The best time to visit Wallowa Lake depends on what you want your vacation to be focused on. If you want to be in the water for the bulk of your trip, it’s best to go in the summer when the water is warmer and it is hot outside.
RV Camping At Wallowa Lake
Catherine Creek State Park Campground
Catherine Creek State Park Campground is nestled in a canyon created by the creek, and the park provides a peaceful setting for all of your outdoor activities. There are 20 primitive campsites with water, including parking at all sites that can accommodate self-contained RVs. The campground includes restrooms, flush toilets, firewood for sale, two reservable group picnic areas, and a 3-mile hiking trail.
Indian Lake Campground
The Indian Lake Campground is operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The lake offers a relaxing space to camp with activities such as picnicking, fishing, and boating. In addition, the campground features new vault toilets, a garbage dump, a boat launch, and fresh mountain water.
Mountain View Motel & RV Park
The Mountain View Motel & RV Park offers a wide range of accommodation options for visitors to the Wallowa Lake area. Here you can choose from motel accommodations to RV camping and tepee rentals with foam mattresses. The RV park is open from May 15 to October 15 and boasts spacious camping sites with great mountain views, free WiFi, a swimming hole, and fantastic star-gazing. It’s only 2 miles away from the town of Joseph.
Scenic Meadows RV Park
Located in Joseph, Oregon, the Scenic Meadows RV Park boasts a fun and enjoyable experience for the entire family. This RV park features 16 RV spaces and two tent spaces to reserve. In addition to spacious campsites, you will also find portable fireplaces, laundry, electricity, water, and accessible access at this RV Park.
Wallowa River RV Park
This Wallowa River RV Park is located on the easter side of Wallowa, Oregon, off Highway 82. The RV Park features 31 pull-through sites with full hook-ups and WiFi. In addition, you’ll find group fire rings, coin-operated laundry, a dump station, and toilet and shower facilities.
Wallowa Lake Recreational Activities
The Wallowa Mountains are a small but rugged and beautiful mountain range in northeastern Oregon. The highest peak in the range is Mount Howard at 8,711 feet. The Wallowas are popular with hikers and climbers and offer many challenging trails. One of the most popular trails leads to Wallowa Lake, a beautiful alpine lake located in the heart of the mountains. The trail is about 8 miles long and climbs more than 3,000 feet. From the lake, hikers can enjoy excellent views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Cape Blanco State Park
Located at the westernmost tip of Oregon, this State Park is a bit of a drive from Wallowa Lake but is an exciting destination to add to your travels in the state of Oregon. The Capo Blanco Lighthouse is a popular location for visitors, as it is open for viewing and built-in 1870, making it the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon coast. In addition, this Capo Blanco State Park offers camping and eight miles of hiking trails.
Champoeg State Heritage Area
At one time, the Champoeg State Heritage Area was a thriving pioneer town that is now home to a museum with campsites, cabins, yurts, and pet-friendly hiking trails. This heritage area is located on the western side of Oregon but would make a unique stop on your travels through the state.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is one of the most popular National Parks in Oregon and is known for being the deepest lake in the United States and the seventh deepest lake in the world. The lake lives within a volcanic basin and is filled by snowfall. In addition, it is surrounded by mountains, evergreen forests, and diverse wildlife habitats. For more great info, visit RV Camping Crater Lake.
Eagle Cap Wilderness
The Eagle Cap Wilderness is located within the Wallowa Whitman National Forest in the Wallowa Mountains. This area was first occupied by the ancestors of the Nez Perce Indian Tribe and was used as hunting grounds for bighorn sheep and deer, and was designated as a wilderness in 1940. This area is most categorized by alpine lakes, meadows, granite peaks, and glaciated valleys.
Rogue State Park
The park is in a remote area of the state and is known as a “rogue state park” because the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department do not manage it. This means that there are no developed trails or facilities in the park. Visitors must be self-sufficient and prepared for primitive camping conditions.
Wallowa Lake State Park
Located between the southern end of the glacial lake and the Wallowa Mountains, you’ll find Wallowa Lake State Park, which is the perfect location to spend the day to spend several days camping if you want to take advantage of the year-round opportunities. You’ll find a beach, fishing spots, picnic tables, and reservable picnic areas here. The Wallowa Lake Marina also offers watercraft for rent in addition to a marina store.
Hells Canyon is where the Snake River runs through the deepest gorge in North America. The canyon stretches for over 70 miles and reaches depths of over 8,000 feet. It’s a popular spot for whitewater rafting and fishing and offers some of the most breathtaking views in the country.
Wallowa Lake and other Oregon State Parks are fantastic travel destinations that provide great activities for every traveler in your group. With a diverse offering of RV camping in Wallowa Lake, you can find something quickly that suits your needs.
Tony is an avid camper and RV traveler. He fell in love with camping on his first RV trip with his wife over 25 years ago. Tony loves sharing lessons learned and tips about RV maintenance and safe traveling.