Outdoor Safety

Bridge over Lake Creek on trail 1633 to Twin Lakes.


The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is an exciting place to be outdoors. Visitors enjoy high alpine backpacking, hunting, fishing, swimming, boating and more. Each of these activities involves different risks and hazards. Please follow the links below to help prepare for a safe and unforgettable trip to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Safety Tips

  • Leave a trip itinerary with someone who will check in with you regarding your return time.
  • Carry the 10 Essentials which includes a map, extra food & water, extra clothing, a flashlight & first aid kit. Keep your equipment in good working order.
  • Be prepared for extreme temperatures and storms, heat, snow and/or rain. Hypothermia is the #1 killer of outdoor enthusiasts. During lightning storms avoid bare ridge tops & exposed places. Find shelter in a densely forested area at a lower elevation.
  • Learn basic first aid so you will know how to identify and treat injuries and illnesses. Learn the symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, and dehydration.
  • Do not rely on your mobile device. Although GPS devices and cell phones are helpful, do not rely on them, especially in the deep canyons of the Gorge. Even a few hundred yards up some trails there is no cell phone reception and batteries wear out at the most inconvenient times.
  • Know your limitations & experience level.  Make sure you are fit for the type of outing you are planning.
  • Think about your footing while traveling near cliffs. Trees and bushes can't always be trusted to hold you. Stay on developed trails or dry, solid rock areas with good footing.
  • If hiking with others, stay together; it is highly recommended that you hike with at least one other person.
  • Always treat water found along the trail if you decide to drink it.
  • If you think you are lost, do not panic. Stop and plan your next action, which often is to stay in one place, especially if darkness is near.
  • Leave plenty of daylight for travel. Set up an emergency camp while there is still daylight if needed.
  • Respect Wildlife. Keep a safe distance from wild animals and be careful not to disturb their habitat. 

Outdoor Safety


Hazard Trees


Illegal Activities

Marijuana Cultivation Site

Pet Dogs

Search and Rescue

Slips, Trips and Falls


Wildlife Safety


Black Bear


Mountain Lion





Water Safety

Boating Safety

Canoeing Safety

River Safety


Weather Safety

Flash Floods



Heat Wave



Wallowa Avalanche Center


Winter Weather