Wild and Scenic Joseph Creek

View of rugged grassy canyon from Joseph Canyon Viewpoint



Only the lower section of Joseph Creek has been designated as a Wild and Scenic River from below the private land at Bull Canyon to the Forest boundary. Historically the canyon is one of the many traditional homeland areas used by the Nez Perce Indians.



The creek flows down a rugged, mostly inaccessibility, and steep canyon near 2400 feet. The designated creek is 8.6 miles long and goes through National Forest and private lands. 


The Wild and Scenic Joseph Creek was congressionally designated in 1988 under the Oregon Omnibus Rivers Act (P.L. 100-557). A total of 8.6 miles was designated as 'wild'.  Current management of the river is directed with the 1993 Joseph Creek Wild and Scenic River Management Plan. The river plan identified outstandingly remarkable values for the river as; scenery, recreation, geology, fisheries and water quality, wildlife, and cultural resources (historic).

Main Recreation and Access Points

Due to remoteness of the river, access is limited and requires hiking or riding:


Joseph Creek is located on the northern boundary of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and is 40 miles from Enterprise, Oregon.

River Management

The Wild and Scenic Joseph Creek is managed by the following management plan and associated documents;

1993 Joseph Creek Wild and Scenic River Management Plan

 1994 Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact. Vicinity map (Forest Plan amendment #13) (198 KB)

For More Information

More information about the Wild and Scenic Joseph Creek can be found at the national Wild and Scenic Rivers website.