Joseph Things to Do

  • Mountain corgi resting on the way up the Eagle Cap
    Mountain corgi resting on the way up the...
    by mtncorg
  • Eagle Cap getting closer - from Summit Trail
    Eagle Cap getting closer - from Summit...
    by mtncorg
  • North off the Cap to Matterhorn beyond Lakes
    North off the Cap to Matterhorn beyond...
    by mtncorg

Most Recent Things to Do in Joseph

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    Kooch's Black Clydesdales

    by ZanieOR Updated Oct 29, 2011

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    One of the most photographed attractions in Wallowa County is a herd of black Clydesdales horses grazing in a large pasture along Highway 82, just a couple miles southeast of Enterprise headed for Joseph. Their backdrop is a spectacular view of the Wallowa Mountains.
    Usually in the spring there will be a foal or two (and their moms) in a corral along the highway, with a sign decorated with a blue or pink balloon that says "It's a boy!" or It's a girl!" Since I drive by them everyday on my way to work in Enterprise, I get to see the foals grow with the seasons.
    The Clydes are hitched up in teams during local parades, and step proud pulling stage coaches and wagons, often winning the parade's top prize.
    The photo I'm including of just a couple of the Clydes was taken by Kim Lamb, who used to work for my newspaper, and the one I successfully promoted for the cover of our 2004 Visitor's Guide. I think it's gorgeous.

    Update, 2012: Alas, the Black Clyde herd is no more, dispersed around the country and the world after the death of their owner/breeder. His widow kept two elderly Clydes on the property until the last one, Chief, died about two years ago.

    Wallowa County
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    • Trains
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    TERMINAL GRAVITY

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    A local brewpub in Enterprise makes some excellent beer that can be hard to find elsewhere. They bottle a super IPA which is a perfect beer for the environment - not too heavy, but not too light like a Milwaukie, St Louis, Coors or Mexican option. Just enough hop to remind you that you are in the High Country. The brewpub is just off of OR 82 on the east end of Enterprise - a sign points the way. Closed on Tuesdays and Monday until 4pm. You can buy a case for $18 at the brewpub or $8.99 at the local stores for a six-pack!! Let’s see, using our ‘new math’, which is the better deal?

    zanieOR corrupting the Little Girl with IPA!
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    • Beer Tasting
    • Road Trip
    • Camping

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    ICE LAKE

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    Ice Lake lies at just under 8000 feet with some 2400 vertical feet being gained in a fairly short time from the West Wallowa Trail - trailhead near Wallowa Lake, total distance 7.5 miles. The lake is surrounded by peaks and meadows. It is a favorite destination for fishermen, backpackers and would-be climbers of Oregon’s Matterhorn. The waters are brisk, hence the name;-\

    Looking south over Ice Lake
    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Fishing
    • Camping

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    MATTERHORN

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    This mountain is hardly impressive when seen from Ice Lake, just to its east - the base from which the summit is usually climbed from. It is the second highest peak in the Wallowas, only a few feet lower than its much scragglier neighbor to the north, Sacajawea Peak. When you see this peak from the Hurricane Creek trail - to the peak’s west - or from Eagle Cap, you truly note the awesome grandeur of the mountain with its magnificent western face vaulting over three thousand feet above Hurricane Creek! The white-red color variations add to the drama.

    Matterhorn bolts above Hurricane Cr; from Cap
    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Camping

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    LOSTINE LOOP

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    While the Lake Basin is by far the most popular destination, for people wanting to do a reasonably short loop hike (reasonable meaning days instead of a week), the Lostine Loop offers a nice opportunity. I met several people who were going up the West and coming down the East Valleys - there is a connecting trail from Minam Lake over to the Lake Basin. IMHO, this is the wrong way. The view of Eagle Cap rising above the meadows of the upper East Lostine are too glorious to have at your back, too easy to trip looking backwards. Whichever way you go, if it is warm out, tackle the connector trail early in the day as it gains a thousand feet quickly - plenty of water of the east side, not so much on the west. From the pass, you have nice west views of Blue Lake, Minam Lake and Brown Mountain; on to the east, incredible views of Eagle Cap, the Lake Basin and over to the spires of the Matterhorn.

    Looking to Eagle Cap and Lake Basin; Minam Pass
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    • Camping
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    EAST LOSTINE VALLEY

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    This is an incredible valley. You start off from the Two Pan trailhead at the end of the Lostine River Road in dense forests at about 5600 feet, flanked by mountains rising almost four thousand feet higher. For the first few miles, you ascend through forests and then climb a series of switchbacks to reach the vast parkland meadows of the upper valley - almost four miles of continuous glory. Rising high above the valley ahead is the Eagle Cap. See my ‘Wandering up the East Lostine Valley to Eagle Cap’ TL for more views.

    Little Girl welcomes you to the East Lostine
    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Fishing
    • Hiking and Walking

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    BROWN MOUNTAIN’

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    Eagle Cap rising above the long alpine meadows is emblematic for the East Lostine Valley. For the West, maybe it is the multicolored stones of Brown Mountain towering 1500 feet above the quiet waters of Minam Lake. Mountains of strikingly different colorations are seen throughout the range with the Matterhorn and Pete’s Point being two other good examples.

    Brown Mountain rising above Minam Lake
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    • Mountain Climbing
    • National/State Park

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    MINAM LAKE

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    From the Two Pan trailhead at the end of the Lostine River Road, going upstream, the river breaks into a West Fork and an East Fork. Both valleys are incredibly full of tout-filled babbling waters and green meadows, flanked by towering mountains. At just over six miles up the West Fork - with two short wet crossings (which means you will have to carry your corgi!) - you come to one of the Area’s larger lakes, Minam. This is a popular destination unto itself for both backpackers and horsemen with plenty of fishing and wilderness adventure. The lake is the source of the West Fork. A short distance beyond is Blue Lake, the source of the Minam River and the start of the longest glacial valley in the region.

    Dead snags along the east shores of Minam Lake
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    • Camping
    • Fishing
    • Hiking and Walking

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    GLACIER LAKE

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    This large lake lies at about 8200 feet just east of Eagle Cap. From its shores, one gets one of the most dramatic views of lake and peak. The lake lies in a rocky basin that is well-known for being cold and windy, but views and good gear can make up for that. Horses are not allowed here which gives you more isolation than the Lake Basin lying across Glacier Pass.

    Galcier Lake lying below to east off the Cap
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Fishing
    • Camping

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    MIRROR LAKE

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    Everyone has their favorite lake in the Lake Basin, though maybe Mirror Lake is most popular - with reason. Not the largest lake in the Basin, the view of the Eagle Cap looming high above more than compensates for size. IMHO, only the view from higher up and more isolated Glacier Lake is better of lake and peak, but from Mirror, you can get that dramatic alpenglow on the peak above that is not as good from Glacier. Like most of the lakes up here, the trout fishing is good - at dusk, there looks too be a storm on the lake with so many fish boiling at the surface. Lying in the Lake Basin, there are no campfires allowed.

    Eagle Cap above Mirror Lake at day's end
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Fishing
    • Camping

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    SUMMIT VIEWS

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    From the top, get you map and begin to make sense of the geographical wheel of mountains and valley spokes. Most people will do the peak from the Lake Basin as a dayhike - about a 2000 foot gain. To the north is the East Lostine Valley, Hurricane Ridge, Matterhorn, and the Lake Basin; to the south, is the East Eagle Creek Valley; to the west is the end of the Minam Valley and to the east is Glacier Lake, sitting in its wild basin.

    North off the Cap to Matterhorn beyond Lakes
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    • National/State Park
    • Mountain Climbing

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    SUMMIT TRAIL

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    From the westernmost lake in the Lake Basin, Mirror, take the East Eagle Trail up past Upper Lake and switchback up above the timberline to where the Eagle Cap Summit trail branches off just before Horton Pass. The summit trail then switchbacks up to an alpine ridge that comes off the west side of the Cap. Following the ridge, you finally reach the summit block which is gained through a series of long, drawn-out switchbacks

    Eagle Cap getting closer - from Summit Trail
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    • National/State Park
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking

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    EAGLE CAP

    by mtncorg Written Aug 16, 2005

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    The Eagle Cap is the centerpiece for the Wallowa Range both figuratively and geographically. Huge glacially-incised valleys radiate in all directions from the peak. The Cap is not the highest in the Wallowas - that honor belongs to the scrabbly Sacajawea Peak lying to the north, next to the infinitely more dramatic Matterhorn - but rising above the Lake Basin and the East Lostine Valley, the mountain is emblematic for the range as a whole.

    The peak is doable in a very long day - 20 miles and 4000 vertical feet in gain (think Mt Whitney, in scale) - but if at all possible, stretch that day into days with so many backpacking destinations available around the Cap.

    Mountain corgi resting on the way up the Eagle Cap
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Camping

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    Bronze, Blues and Brews Festival

    by ZanieOR Updated Jul 27, 2005

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    Every year Joseph hosts a musical event called the Bronze, Blues and Brews Festival at city park, attracting 2,000 music and beer fans to town for one Saturday in the middle of August. (Aug. 13 in 2005)
    It invites the micro-beer makers of Oregon to sell their ware, so there's usually about a dozen here along with Wallowa County's own Terminal Gravity -- so a good time is had by all.
    The music is pretty darn good, too. There's always about six bands starting to play at noon, and the headliner usually finishes after dark about 10 p.m.
    Despite the beer drinking, it's a mellow family affair with parents dancing with their kids on the grass, and kids running through the sprinkler and playing on the monkey bars while the band plays.
    It received the "Best Blues Event" in the Inland Empire in 2001 and has been nominated again the last three years.

    The blues fest is one more good reason to come to Joseph.

    (And within two blocks of my house!!)

    Otis Taylor gets off stage into crowd
    Related to:
    • Beer Tasting
    • Festivals
    • Music

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    Wallowa Valley Festival of Arts

    by ZanieOR Updated Jun 25, 2005

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    The 23nd annual WV Festival of Arts was held in early June, 2005, in the Joseph Community Center.
    It's a juried art show with a lot of good art in many mediums, opening with a festive artist reception on Friday night, with wine tasting, tasty hors d'ouerves, and the first chance to see the art. There is an admission charge, which includes a hand-painted wine glass.
    Viewing is free the rest of the weekend. They usually have artists demonstrations. One fun part is voting on the People's Choice award, probably the most coveted prize of the show.

    Festival of Arts show, 2005
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    • Wine Tasting
    • Arts and Culture

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