Spanning 2.3 million acres across the northeast corner of Oregon and western Idaho, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest offers a variety of year-round recreational opportunities. With landscapes packed with rugged canyonlands, scenic vistas, and high mountain lakes, visitors have enjoyed the forest’s diverse landscape and recreational activities for generations.
Make the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest your ‘special place’ to visit this year!
Family bike riders and single track mountain bikers will find a variety of biking opportunities on the Forest's roads and trails. Take off for the day from your favorite campground or trailhead and enjoy the backcountry.
The Forest has several mountain bike trail riding areas which provide recreational opportunities on interconnecting trails in a general geographic area. Mountain bike trails not found in these riding areas offer more dispersed riding experiences. The list below displays both trails in riding areas and the dispersed trails.
Areas for Mountain Biking at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
Road cyclist and cross crountry trekkers have enjoyed the variety and challenges of the road system in northeast Oregon. The area is so spectacular that several organizations plan rides each year in this part of the state.
Having a variety of over 50 campgrounds allows our visitors to set camp and enjoy the forest in many beautiful locations. They can bring their RV, family tent, camp trailers, toy haulers, wall tents or vans and pick a new campground every night for the summer. The settings can be different too from small streamside camps to larger lake side developments.
Some general rules of use and restrictions also apply to visitor using developed recreation sites and general forest dispersed areas. These include regulations like forest-wide camping stay limits; use of camp fires, firearms, and fireworks; paying fees, and controlling pets.
Areas for Campground Camping at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
Many of the Forest's campgrounds can accomodate RV campers looking for easy pull throughs or large camp spurs. Although Union Creek Campground is the Forest's only full hookup campground other campgrounds have been constructed to fit larger vehicles or those with 5th wheels, toy haulers, camp trailers, and boat trailers.
Areas for RV Camping at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
Dispersed camping is a popular camping method for many visitors to the Forest. Choosing to camp along a stream or adjacent to a meadow where there are no picnic tables, toilets or firerings allows campers to enjoy a more primitive experience.
It is recommend that dispersed campers keep to traditional campsites off of established 'two-track' vehicles routes which have been used in the past. Most of these routes are less than 300 feet from a designated open road.
There are some areas on the Forest that are closed to dispersed camping. These include administrative site, special use permit area, or sensitive areas for archeology or wildlife.
Please remove all temporary structures before you leave such as meat poles, toilets, furniture, and ditches around your tents. To find out more about minimum impact camping please visit our outdoor ethics section. Some general rules of use and restrictions also apply to visitor using dispersed camping sites. These include regulations like forest-wide camping stay limits; use of camp fires, firearms, and fireworks; and controlling pets.
For a unique outdoor experience try one of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest's recreational rental facilities. Ranging from small 2-room cabins to larger Forest Service guard stations these rentals are popular with visitors wanting a few more comforts or conveniences than a tent or trailer.
All rental cabins are only available for a portion of the year.
How to Rent a Cabin on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
Once you are on these websites, here is how to find the cabins which are available for rent;
In the 'Looking For' section select 'Cabins and lookouts' from the drop down menu.
In the 'State' section select 'Oregon' from the drop down menu.
Under 'Park or Facility Name' type in either; Antlers Guard Station Cabin, Anthony Lake Guard Station, Two Color Guard Station, or Peavy Cabin.
You will then need to type in arrival dates, length of stay and other information about your proposed stay. The websites also have information about the amenities, photos, activities available and other reservation procedures to complete your reservation.
Areas for Cabin Rentals at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
Anglers visiting the Forest have dozens of lakes and reservoirs to fish from beginning in the Spring through the late Fall. Most mountain lakes both in and out of the wilderness have native cold water species and stocked species (brook trout, rainbow trout). Some of the lower waters also have warm water species like small mouth bass and yellow perch.
There are also several ponds and reservoirs around the Forest that are managed by other land management agencies. The maps and directions below are provided by the local Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
From small mountain streams to the wild and scenic rivers, anglers are active year-round fishing across the Forest. Most of the streams have native cold water fish (red band trout, bull trout) and stocked species (brook trout, rainbow trout). The Snake River offers both warm species (crappie, small mouth bass) and cold water species like sturgeon, steelhead and trout.
Areas for River and Stream Fishing at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
Short trips with family and friends for a day hike along a stream or to a mountain lake are an enjoyable experience. The day hike opportunities listed below can assist you in planning your next trip to the Forest.
Areas for Day Hiking at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
To meet the needs of pack and riding stock visitors, the Forest has several campgrounds and trailheads designed for day and overnight use. Many of these facilities have amenities such as large parking areas, loading ramps, hitching rails, small corrals and feed bunks ('star feeders' shown above).
View the summary table to see what amenities are available at each site.
Areas for Horse Camping at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
As a Forest with hundreds of miles of wilderness and backcountry trails, the Wallowa-Whitman is a popular destination for visitors from late Spring through the early Winter. Short day rides or extended week long trips can be planned to include rides over high mountain peaks or along river canyon bottoms.
Areas for Horse Riding at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
Beginning in the late Summer through mid-Winter, the Forest hosts hundreds of big-game hunters looking for that special experience to enjoy with family and friends.
Due to the size of the Forest and variety of hunts offered in Oregon and Idaho, it is advisable to check on the state wildlife management officers and review the big game regulations for the animals, season, weapons and hunting unit you would like to use this season.
Areas for Big Game Hunting at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
The diversity of landscapes and ecosystems on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest provide habitat for many game birds. In the sagebrush grasslands and streamside riparian areas you will find chuckar, Hungarian partridge, and California quail. In the forested areas you can hunt for turkeys, spruce grouse, and blue grouse.
With a wide range of geologic landscapes, water bodies, plant communties and wildlife habitats, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has great opportunities to view many wildlife species. Whether you are a weekend birder, professional photographer or just enjoy seeing animals in their natural environment, you can stay busy visiting many parts of the forest.
The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has hundreds of varieties beautiful wildflowers, unique plants and several threatened, endangered and sensitive plants growing in various ecosystems across the forest.
Areas for Viewing Plants at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
Spectacular scenic vistas of subalpine mountain peaks, rugged canyons and colorful wildflowers draw visitors to the Forest throughout the year. To enjoy some of the more popular scenic areas plan a visit to one of the sites listed below.
Areas for Viewing Scenery at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
OHV trail riding is an enjoyable way for many visitors to see the National Forest. The Forest has hundreds of miles of designated OHV roads and trails to ride. These trails and OHV trail areas have been designated for certain classes of OHVs during specific seasons. The designations ensure that riders will avoid resource impacts and have a safe ride on a trail designed for their use.
The Forest also has several OHV trail riding areas which provide recreational opportunities on interconnecting trails in a general geographic area. OHV Trails not found in these riding areas offer more dispersed riding experiences. The list below displays both trails in riding areas and the dispersed trails.
Areas for OHV Trail Riding at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
Making history available to forest visitors is an important element to enriching their experience. This portion of both Oregon and Idaho has played a meaningful role in American history. Key historical areas include; the Oregon Trail, the Nez Perce Trail, Native American homelands, and pioneering life along the Snake River and in Hells Canyons.
Areas for Interpretive Areas at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
Power boaters can enjoy fishing, and sightseeing on the Wild and Scenic Snake River or at Phillips Lake. Some rivers like the Wild and Scenic Snake River have size restrictions, use restrictions and a permit process for power boaters. The Oregon State Marine Board also has administrative rules requiring a boaters permit and other watercraft restrictions for several water bodies on the Forest.
Areas for Boating - Motorized at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has many small lakes and rivers to enjoy in non-motorized and float bloats. You can stay busy all year on these waters fishing, canoeing, rowing, paddling, kayaking and rafting.
Although visitors are often seen wading and swimming in lakes, streams and rivers on the Forest, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest only has one designated swimming area at Phillips Lake. This swimming area has been roped off yet does not have a lifeguard on duty.
Be careful around forest lakes, streams and rivers. These water are usually very cold throughout the Summer, and the swift flow or floating debris can present a danger to swimmers, waders and children playing near them. Use of personal floatation devices is recommended when playing near water. Learn more about kids and water safety before you visit this year.
Areas for Swimming at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
As a partner in winter time outdoor recreation Anthony Lakes Ski Area provides fantastic snowboarding, downhill and Nordic skiing for all ages. The ski area boasts that it has the highest base elevation in Oregon or Washington (7,100 feet), and is known for it's quality season-long powder. Picturesque views of frozen lakes, distant valleys and several craggy, granite peaks including Gunsight Peak make each run an enjoyable experience. The ski area also has a full range of ski and boarding schools, cat skiing, equipment rentals, restaurant and bar amenities.
Located in 19 miles west of North Powder, Oregon off interstate 84, the Anthony Lake Highway road is plowed all winter. Chains or snow traction devices are advised, and an Oregon Sno-Park permit is required to park at the ski area.
If you are a back country skiier or snowshoer looking for open hillside, lots of powder, or maybe just miles of back country roads, the Forest can accommodate your needs. Although there are a few designated cross country ski trails, most visitors access the back country from snowparks, plowed county and state roads. There are also designated Nordic trails at the Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort.
The Forest has several cross country (XC) ski and snowshoe areas which provide recreational opportunities on interconnecting trails in a general geographic area. Ski trails not found in these areas offer more dispersed recreation experiences. The list below displays both trails in skiing areas and the dispersed trails.
Areas for XC Skiing/Snowshoeing at Wallowa Whitman National Forest
With hundreds of groomed trails to choose from, snowmobile riders on the Forest can enjoy a new area every week during the season. These trails are kept groomed and maintained through partnerships with local snowmobile clubs and support from the Oregon State Snowmobile Association and Oregon Department of Transportation. For more information about snowmobile trail riding opportunities and partnerships, go to the main Snowmobile Riding and Management page.
Areas for Snowmobiling at Wallowa Whitman National Forest