Eastern Oregon is wide open for cycling—both bicycling and motorcycling. Most of the roads out here are not heavily travelled and some are rather twisty.
Bicycle Eastern Oregon and Wallowa County
You’d think with the Wallowa Mountains nearby that there would be plenty of mountain biking opportunities, but mountain bikes are allowed in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest provided they are outside of the Eagle Cap Wilderness boundary. The Redmont Trail Network (Trail 1823) east of Joseph provides a mix of single track and multi-use roads. Riding season is typically mid-June through the end of October and trail clearing is usually completed by early July. The best place we’ve found for information specifically about MTB riding in the area is through the LaGrande Ride bike shop website. Search for MTB rides in Joseph.
There are a variety of road bicycle routes near Joseph including the newly restructured Hurricane Creek Road that links the towns of Joseph and Enterprise. Road bikes have options for at least 8 rides in the Wallowa Valley and the challenging multi-day Wallowa Mountain Loop Classic. The best overall compendium for street and mountain bike trails in Wallowa County is found at the Ride Oregon website. Search for “Wallowa” for a complete list and maps.
Here at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast we keep a limited supply of both road bike and mountain bike maps for the local area.
In September, the annual Wallowa Lake State Park Triathlon challenges participants with a 20 km ride from the head of Wallowa Lake to Joseph in addition to a chilly 500 meter swim in Wallowa Lake and a 5 km run.
The local Joseph Hardware is bike central with bike repair, new bikes and gear. As of Spring 2015, there are no known businesses renting bicycles in Wallowa County.
Cycle Oregon and the Oregon Bike Ride often plan their annual routes to come through Joseph and Wallowa County. Their websites include specific rides with elevation maps for our area. For 2015, Cycle Oregon’s Hell on Wheels ride will arrive at the Wallowa Lake State Park on Day Four, the “Highway to Hell” day.
Guests often choose to store their biking gear in our dry, locked garage.
If you like the thought of recumbent bicycling combined with a scenic ride through the back accesses of Wallowa County, consider a ride with the Joseph Branch Railriders. From Friday through Monday, Memorial Day through October, this company provides unique pedal-powered rail vehicles for riding side-by-side along the rail line connecting Joseph and Enterprise. New for 2015, guests may take railrider vehicles on a self-guided 26-mile round trip (up to 7 hours) adventure from Minam Town to Wallowa. The Oregon Field Guide, one of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s weekly shows, recently covered the Joseph Branch Railriders. Please enjoy the link to that episode.
Motorcycle Eastern Oregon and Wallowa County
Just like bicycling, the routes through Wallowa County are wide open for motorcycles. The route north to Washington on Oregon Highway 3 is a twisty roads delight.
We always recommend a stop at the bottom of Buford and Rattlesnake Grades for a homemade milkshake or slice of homemade pie and coffee at Boggan’s Oasis.
The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway (Wallowa Mountain Loop Road) is another favorite for motorcycles. The Hells Canyon Overlook is about one hour out along the way and makes a nice turn around destination for coming back to Joseph. (Please note there is road construction along this route in 2015. Read our blog post for links to the latest information.)
For those with off-road motorcycles, a trip up to Hat Point on the rim of Hells Canyon can be a thrilling ride. This route is not recommended for road bikes because of the 26 miles off-road once leaving Imnaha.
Guests arriving by motorcycle may choose to park on our concrete pad or in the gravel parking area.