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Wallowa Lake Is a Secret Family Vacation Spot in Oregon. Wallowa Lake Oregon BoatingThe sun shone on the glistening blue lake. My family and I were row boating on Wallowa Lake for the first time. Little ripples lapped against our boats. After awhile, I couldn’t resist and I lowered my hand into the appealing cool water.
Wallowa Lake, the name brings back pleasant memories from last summer. It is the most expansive lake and one of the prettiest places I have ever seen and it’s a great place for fishing. During our vacation, my youngest brother caught a Kokanee salmon and both of my brothers caught rainbow trout. The sunsets at Wallowa Lake were gorgeous.
Wallowa Lake is nestled in the immense Eagle Cap Wilderness. Some local Oregonians know about it but even some who live in the state do not.  The deer were very friendly and bold.  They would come right up to us, our van, and our cabin. It was neat to wake up and see deer wandering around the property.

We hiked a little over a mile up to B.C. Creek Waterfall which was near the cabin we were staying. It was amazing to be standing so close to a waterfall that you could touch it. The spray was cool and refreshing. The water thundered as it crashed into the rocks at the bottom.Wallowa Lake Oregon Deer
Row boating and paddle boating on Wallowa Lake were definitely two of the highlights of the trip. My brothers with my dad fished out of the rowboat while my mom and I shared another other one. I discover that rowing is hard work! But being out on the lake was wonderful. The water was calm and no one got seasick or fell overboard. On our last boating adventure before leaving, we turned Wallowa Lake into a racetrack for our paddle boats. It was so much fun!

Editor’s note. A special thanks goes to Alyssa Liljequist for sharing her delightful family experience at Wallowa Lake.  Throughout the year we invite kids ages 10 to 18 to “Tell Mom” in their own words about a recent family vacation experience. We share the best with our readers. Alyssa Liljequist is one of the winners in contest for young travel writers prompt “I know a secret place …”.

Planning Details and Things to Do with Kids.

Take the kids to the beach. Lake Wallowa is fed by the East and West Fork of the Wallowa River and is one of the clearest glacial lakes in the world.  The lake offers seasonal beaches and sandy bottom swimming areas are located at the head and foot of the lake. Snorkeling is a popular pastime because the fish watching is great and as Alyssa indicated fishing is great.

Hike in the wilderness. Start with The Eagle Cap Wilderness, the largest wilderness in the state of Oregon with peaks ranging from 3,600 to over 9,800 feet. The area sustains more than 50 glacial lakes and an abundance of streams ideal for fishing. During the summer months, expect to see white-tailed deer, rocky mountain elk, and black bears. Meadows are blanketed with wild flowers and huckleberries are abundant. (Eagle Cap Wilderness

Fly like a bird. Not just for Acapulco anymore, parasailing over Wallowa Lake is an option during the summer months.  Eagle Cap Parasailing provides fliers of all ages with a chance to soar between 400 & 60 feet above the lake and not get wet.  (Eagle Cap Parasailing (541) 432-1214 or

Bicycle Wallowa County. It’s not just the lake that is worth the trip. Wallowa County is one of Oregon’s best kept secret – naturally beautiful, no crowds, and bike friendly. The riding is easy so families can bike back roads through valley farmland without concerns for traffic.  The area offers with thousands of miles of trails and roads to follow with plenty of discoveries to be shared.

Saddle up and ride. Eagle Cap Wilderness Pack Station is the oldest continuous packing business in Northeastern Oregon. They offer short rides, full-day day rides, and also coordinate pack trips including overnight trips, 3-day, and 5-day guided trips. (Eagle Cap Wilderness Pack Station 59761 Wallowa Lake Hwy. Joseph, Oregon 97846. (541) 805-1165, cell (541) 432-4145 or toll-free 1-800-681-6222 or

Make it happen. For more things to do and see go to

Observations and images provided by Alyssa Liljequist, one of the winners of the Family Travel Youth Writing Contest. Additional comments and planning details by Family Travel Files staff. Copyright updated 2014

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