It’s nice to find things to do near Wallowa Lake when you’re on vacation in Eastern Oregon. With Highway 39 closed near the junction of Highways 39 and Oregon 86, you can still reach most of the Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Highway 39) from the Joseph Oregon side.
Even the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast innkeepers get to enjoy the sights around here every now and then! Bill & I recently drove out to Harl Butte off of Highway 39. There’s an historic fire lookout there. When we arrived we were surprised to find not only the historic building but an individual manning the lookout as well. From his vantage point he could see into the Imnaha River drainage, plus from his location you could see the fire lookout tower at Hat Point and across Hells Canyon into Idaho.
What impressed us most was the hand-stacked volcanic rock wall surround the lookout site (he told us a previous lookout had spent 10 summers erecting the wall). Someone obviously had a lot of time on his hands in between watching for lightning strikes and monitoring fires in Northeastern Oregon and across Hells Canyon in Idaho!
Harl Butte is about 1 1/2 hours from Wallowa Lake. When planning your Eastern Oregon vacation, consider adding it as an out-of-the-way place for vast beauty. We keep maps here at our Eastern Oregon lodging to get you there and back again. Hope to see you soon!