"Tucked away in northeastern Oregon between the Wallowa Mountains and Hells Canyon lies a lush, open valley, fed by a large glacial lake and clear rivers and cold streams. The valley seamlessly blends into high-mountain prairies and rangeland that in turn peer over deep canyons scarring the landscape. The county has escaped many hallmarks of today’s modern world and relies heavily local ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness to provide for everyday needs. On the surface the county seems sleepy, but just under the surface you can hear the hum of an active community busy organizing potlucks, rodeos, square dances, concerts, workshops, raising barns, branding cattle, and baling hay. 

The charm of each town strung across the length of the valley is inescapable. Joseph, Enterprise, Lostine, and Wallowa all share similar outward appearance that harkens to the late 1800’s …..

In a county of wild natural beauty, the residents revere and cherish the land that sustains them. The breathtaking views of Wallowa Valley easily disguise the difficulties of life in this corner of Oregon, yet we all know that nothing easy is of great value and this landscape has cultivated a close-knit, caring, and flavorfully rich population."  -Grace Donovan




“There’s beauty in silence deep as the sky

  Spirit and salmon and dreams you can’t buy

  Friendship and fellowship, all here together

  Through fire and drought, wind and fair weather

  It’s hard but it’s worth it to live on this land

  There’s no guarantees of a bird in the hand

  We carve and we chisel, we plant and we plow

  We’re sticking it out in Wallowa”


Joseph is a stunning place — set in a cradle of grass and forests in the Wallowa Mountains of eastern Oregon. The county, Wallowa, is much larger in size than the state of Delaware, with the continent’s deepest river gorge, Hells Canyon, on one side, and a string of peaks that could be Switzerland, the Eagle Cap Wilderness, on the other.


Coined the “Little Switzerland of America,” Joseph sits amid the Wallowa Mountains in the northeastern corner of Oregon, bordering the state’s largest natural wilderness areas. Layers of snowcapped granite peaks sit at the edge of the small western town, cradling alpine lakes, moraines, massive canyons, and forests teeming with elk, wolves and other wildlife. Nearby, Hells Canyon comprises one of the wildest places in Oregon.


Home to 17 mountains that eclipse 9,000 feet and derived from the Nez Perce word for “land of running waters,” the Wallowas of northeastern Oregon offer what many consider the state’s best backpacking experience.



Wallowa County is known For:

Voted one of the best small outdoor rodeos in the USA.

The west's only Iditarod and Yukon Quest Qualifier.

The deepest river gorge in North America.

Released in 1993, this Disney movie used various location from the area for filming including: Joseph, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area.

The featured cover story for Sunset Magazine’s September 2016 issue.

Featured in the NY Times bestselling book “The Shack” and the Hollywood film staring Octavia Spencer, Sam Worthington & Tim McGraw.


1 of the 7 wonders of Oregon

Known as the bronze-casting capital of the U.S, Valley Bronze of Joseph has played an integral part of preserving American history. The foundry provided the ornamental bronze work for the World War 2 memorial in Washington D.C. as well as created the cases that hold the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Record breaking kokanee caught in Wallowa Lake by Ron Campbell in 2010.

Zumwalt comprises the largest remaining areas of Pacific Northwest bunchgrass prairie in North America.


Notable Locals

Born in Wallowa Valley, Chief Joseph was the leader of the Wallowa band of Nez Perce tribe. After the US government forcibly removed the tribe from their home, Joseph and his band resisted and sought asylum with the Lakota tribe led by Sitting Bull. The US army pursued Joseph for 1,170 miles in an event called the Nez Perce War. Only 40 miles from his destination, Joseph was forced to surrender to General Miles. Upon surrendering, he delivered a speech that has gone down in history. The most famous line from the speech is, “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever".


Film historians and critics have long regarded Brennan as one of the finest character actors in motion picture history.He was the first actor to win three Academy Awards and remains the only person to have won three Best Supporting Actor awards. In 1940, Brennan purchased the 12,000-acre Lightning Creek Ranch, 20 miles south of Joseph, Oregon. He built the Indian Lodge Motel, a movie theater, and a variety store in Joseph and continued going there between film roles until his death in 1974


Born in Joseph, Oregon- Margarent was a World No. 1 American female tennis player. She won a total of 37 singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, which places her fourth on the all-time list. She won 25 of her Grand Slam titles at the U.S. Championships, which is an all-time record.


Born in Enterprise, Oregon in 1959, Hollywood screen writer and producer, Mike Rich got his big break in 1998 for his first film script Finding Forrester. The film was named after his Enterprise High School english teacher, Mrs. Forster. Besides Finding Forester, Rich has worked on The Rookie, Radio, Miracle, Invincible, The Nativity Story and Secretariat.


While growing up in Wallowa, Oregon, Amos played football for Wallowa High School and then continued on to play at Oregon State University. He began his professional career with the Dallas Cowboys in 1961. In 1962, he returned a kickoff against Philadelphia for 101 yards, a record that lasted 29 years. In 1965, he went to the Detroit Lions, where he was the team's leading rusher that year with 495 yards. He retired after the 1967 season.


This famous Hollywood actor is credited for 260 films and was best known for his deep froggy voice. After World War 2, he became paranoid that the Russians would launch a nuclear attack so he purchased a ranch near Imnaha, Oregon and turned it into a mountain fortress. While bunkering down at the ranch, Pallette was visited by well known actors such as Clark Gable.


Often talked about in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, Tyler Hays is best known as the founder and head designer of BDDW, the high-end furniture company in SoHo. Hays grew up in Joseph, Oregon and currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2012, he purchased the M.Crow Company Store in Lostine, Oregon to continue on its 108 year legacy. M.Crow Company not only serves the area as a general store, but also features the high end BDDW luxury items that are highly sought after by circles on the East Coast.