BAKER — Downed trees block many trails in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest because of last’s year’s heavy snowfall and strong winds.
Forest trail crews and volunteers are working in priority areas but late snow and high creek crossings have made some trails difficult to access.
Many lower elevation trails in the Elkhorn Mountains are now free of snow, however blow-down from winter storms remains on several trails.
Visitors should use caution while traveling on unmaintained trails. Many high lakes are partially frozen and several trails remain snow-covered.
To check the most up-to-date trail conditions, visit the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman.
You don't really think about vineyards and wineries near Wallowa Lake or Joseph Oregon. We're at 4,200 feet of elevation with a short growing season (USDA Zone 5), so there isn't much happening with grape growing up here.
But this week we hosted Tim & Lori Kennedy, owners of Don Carlo Vineyard in Milton-Freewater at our Joseph bed and breakfast. Milton-Freewater is less than two hours drive from Joseph on the way to Walla Walla, Washington. I'd always thought of Walla Walla as a big wine area, but it turns out that Milton-Freewater is becoming one too! Tim explained there are currently eleven vineyards in and around Milton-Freewater producing wines and hard cider. If this area grows like Walla Walla, undoubtedly there will be more.
Tim and Lori are sending us some maps to the wineries, fruit stands and other agritourism sites of Milton-Freewater. We look forward to giving them to our bed and breakfast guests heading north towards Walla Walla Washington. It could be that Bill & I need to plan a little getaway ourselves and replenish our bed & breakfast wine cellar!They didn't stay at a Wallowa Lake hotel--they stayed at our little Eastern Oregon bed and breakfast--and what a treat for us. Education about more Eastern Oregon places to experience!
We often are asked whether it is easy to drive to Joseph, Oregon. In general, driving to Northeastern Oregon is pretty straightforward. Even in winter. . .
There are three paved routes in/out of Wallowa County (where Joseph, Oregon is located), two of which are open year around:
As for general driving conditions, we always refer our guests to the Oregon Department of Transportation website (also found at Tripcheck.com) for the latest conditions, especially along I-84 and OR-3.
In winter, it's always advisable to have traction tires or carry chains when you're in Eastern Oregon--and that means through the month of April!. Les Schwab Tires often provides a great service to occasional winter drivers. They will sell you a sealed box set of tire chains for your car or light truck and, if you return them unopened in the Spring, you'll get a full refund--one more reason to visit Wallowa Lake and Joseph, Oregon even during the Winter/Spring seasons.
Have we convinced you yet? If you need a little more assistance planning your Joseph Oregon vacation, call us and we'll give you a hand with your routing to Wallowa County.