Hiking Around Joseph

iwetemlaykin trail knights pondKnights Pond ~ Iwetemlaykin

The Joseph area has access to literally hundreds of miles of trails for hikers and trail runners to explore and exercise on. In the Eagle Cap Wilderness you’ll find that most trails are rocky and moderately difficult and the effect of elevation on those used to living closer to sea level also comes into play. The fit will find a stunning mix of visual surprises in an area that’s hard to completely cover in a lifetime.

Casual hikers can find many miles of easier trails that offer exceptional scenic experiences as well. Examples would be: Iwetemlaykin, Hurricane Creek and trail to BC Falls at Wallowa Lake. Also, shortcutting to into the Alpine Zone is just an incredible Tram ride away.

If you’re trying to ease your accent to one of the many peaks or lakes, consider a trailhead that starts at a higher elevation to begin with- this can cut more than 1000 feet off your climb.

When venturing into the more remote areas please be aware that even basic services are scarce and you'll find cell coverage spotty at best. Plan to have plenty of gas and water for your trip!

Speeds on USFS gravel roads are slow, less than 25mph. The gravel roads can be harsh on soft/worn tires so do check your spare and plan extra time to your destination.

Print your own Wilderness Trail map from the USFS

Links below will take you to more information. Use the 'See and Do Map' for driving instructions.

Joseph Area Trail Access (closest to farthest):
  • Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site
    • One Mile from Joseph (natural, not wilderness)
    • El: 4400'
    • Improved- Smooth trails - Great for Runners
    • Good Parking
    • Features Short Nature Trail, Pond, Meadows, Wildlife
    • No Pass Required
  • Wallowa Lake Trailhead:
    • 7 Miles from Joseph
    • El: 4675'
    • Improved
    • Good Parking
    • Features Three Major Trails, Views, Streams Waterfalls, Lakes
    • No Pass required
  • Hurricane Creek Trailhead:
    • 13 Miles from Joseph
    • El: 5050'
    • Very Narrow Road (Blind Corners... GO SLOW)
    • Good Parking
    • Features Goat Meadows, Slick Rock, Lakes Basin
    • NW Forest Pass Required*
  • McCully Trailhead:
    • 11 Miles from Joseph
    • El: 5763'
    • Narrow Road, Paved/Gravel Road
    • OK Parking
    • Features Two Trails, Back-Route up Mt. Howard and the trail to the beautiful McCully Basin
    • NW Forest Pass Required*
  • Tenderfoot Trailhead
    • 24 Miles from Joseph
    • El 6514'
    • Rustic
    • Paved/Narrow Gravel Road
    • Good Parking
    • Features Bonny Lakes, Tenderfoot Pass, Dollar Ridge (fossilised seashells) and beyond
    • No Pass Required
  • Maxwell Lake Trailhead:
    • 33 Miles from Joseph
    • El: 5450'
    • Improved
    • Long Paved/Gravel Road
    • Good Parking
    • Features Maxwell Lake
    • NW Forest Pass Required*
  • Two Pan Trailhead:
    • 34 Miles from Joseph
    • El: 5590'
    • Improved
    • Long Paved/Gravel Road
    • Good Parking
    • Features easiest access to Lakes Basin
    • NW Forest Pass Required*

* NW Forest Day-Passes are available at most trailheads by self-issue.

This Hiking guide made possible through a generous contribution from Wallowa Lake Resort
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