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:
- Oregon Highway 82 (leaves Interstate 84 at LaGrande Exit 261 for a scenic drive along the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway eastwards through Union County into Wallowa County)
- Oregon Highway 3 (starts as Washington Highway 129 in Clarkston, WA, then becomes OR 3 at the state line, continuing south into Wallowa County to the town of Enterprise, which it ends at OR-82)
- Forest Road 39 (starts at Oregon Highway 86 between Halfway and Oxbow near the Idaho border and winds its way northwestward into Wallowa County). This road is NOT MAINTAINED in the winter! (It’s normally closed from mid-November through early/mid-May or sometimes into June.) The Wallowa-Whitman Forest Service Visitor Center (tel 541-426-4978 Monday-Friday) is the offical information source for this road.
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.