Bicycling in Wallowa County
This area has been described as having the most awe-inspiring ride anywhere, an opinion expressed by Cycle Oregon, the largest cycling club in the state. In fact they’ve visited here more times than anywhere on their annual week ride (this year will mark 4 times). On these long distance rides they rarely stay long enough to experience all the area has to offer.
Lots to Explore:
This is a vast county with a low population density and diverse environments ranging from sagebrush desert to alpine wilderness. It’s also marked by some of the largest intact natural grasslands left in the lower 48. Because of the proximity of the Wallowa Mountains, water is everywhere, making the Valley lush and green long after other east-of-the-cascades locales go brown. The generally higher elevation also results in milder temperatures.
Enjoy crystal-clean water, clear air and a lack of light pollution that brings out a million stars at night. An abundance of wildlife and a light human presence brings nature lovers many surprises. Expect to see hawks and deer as well as foxes, elk, marmots and the occasional coyote to name a few.
Riders visiting the area often 'base camp' at Wallowa Lake or stay at one of the many Bed and Breakfasts or other lodging establishments in Joseph or Enterprise. From there you can embark upon rides of varying quality and difficulty.
Here's a general orientation: (explore routes in depth by clicking the links on the left)
- Valley Routes- If you want to stay on pavement and enjoy a leisurely day in the country, these are the rides for you. Some are particularly well suited for families. If you have a mountain bike or hybrid, you can explore even further on the gravel roads. Most roads have low traffic and drivers generally slow for riders; the people are friendly and like to wave.
- Classic Wallowa Mountain Loop- This is the ride that has been repeated by Cycle Oregon; a multi-day legendary ride for the fit. The unrivalled classic of the west.
- Mountain Biking- While somewhat undeveloped, riders can find single-track trails for beginner to advanced skills. The marked and maintained Redmont and Wagon Road Network of trails are about a half hour drive east southeast of Joseph.