Wallowa and Hells Canyon Tour
6 Day Tour
Meet September 21; Ride September 22 – September 27, 2014
Non-refundable deposit: $220
Total cost: $880
Single supplement: $525
Rider limit: 20
Tour leaders: Sue Matthews
Final Payment Due Date – June 19
Explore the stunning beauty of Eastern Oregon, where cowboy country and wilderness meet the deepest canyon in the U.S. Bucolic back roads populated by cattle, miles and miles of wilderness roads with nary a car in sight, diverse and breathtaking landscapes, historical landmarks, and activities to complement the scenery. Be sure to bring walking shoes to enjoy the art and bronze works in Joseph, the hiking trails on Mt. Howard (after the tram ride!), the interpretive walk in Hells Canyon (after your jet boat ride!) and the Oregon Trail interpretive center. Bring your swimsuit for Wallowa Lake and of course your camera to capture it all!
What to expect
This tour provides the STANDARD Level of support as described on the Club Tours FAQ page.
This tour is rated Moderate. Tour mileage (330) and total elevation gain (21,000’) are appropriate for a moderate pace rider who is comfortable with significant climbing. The late season and many back roads will significantly reduce traffic, but riders should be aware that some of our mileage is on highways.
Late September sees highs in the mid-70s and lows in the 30s with a less than 10% chance of precipitation. Since Mother Nature is full of surprises, and one day will travel over 6,000’, be prepared for warmer or colder weather, as well as rain.
This tour will provide some breakfasts as well as all snacks and lunch on riding days. With the exception of a group barbecue, dinners are not covered. Restaurants are available at all of our overnight stops.
Quality of lodging ranges from basic to above average.
Go Green! We encourage carpooling. The start point for this tour is approximately 325 miles from Seattle. Greyhound also serves La Grande.
Sunday, September 21
La Grande, OR
We meet the first night in La Grande, OR and get to know each other during our first meeting.
Monday, September 22
La Grande to Enterprise - 68 miles, 3,100’
Follows quiet highways and back roads, rolling hills and river. We quickly leave traffic behind as we roll through grasslands and mountain vistas touching down in two small towns along the way. You’ll get a nice 20 mile warm up before the only significant climb of the day and enjoy a great descent.
Tuesday, September 23
Enterprise to Joseph, 20 miles, 1,950’. Additional mileage options.
Relax and enjoy this short 20 mile day. We climb slowly out of Enterprise passing Joseph and follow the shoreline of Wallowa Lake. Before lunch at the lake, we treat you to a tram ride gaining 3,700’ where you disembark to enjoy the views from miles of interpretive walks. After lunch and possibly a swim, return to Joseph where you can admire several of the town foundry’s bronze sculptures displayed in public areas or just enjoy window shopping in the many cute shops.
Wednesday, September 24
Joseph to Halfway, 72 miles, 5,300’
Day 3 is challenging, with three significant climbs and plenty of descending. Most of the day is spent on a forest road with virtually no traffic. Enjoy lunch at a scenic viewpoint where you will get your first look at Hell’s Canyon – our next day’s highlight. At road’s end, we rest our weary legs at a great B&B we take over for the next two nights.
Thursday, September 25
Day 4 offers mileage options, the hero option is an 80 mile round trip to Hell’s Canyon. Or you can choose to ride either to or from Hell’s Canyon taking the sag for the other leg. The day’s ride follows the Snake River through Hell’s Canyon to road’s end where we treat you to a jet boat ride and an interpretive walk through an historic homestead site. After returning to our B&B for one more night, we enjoy a barbecue, a perfect complement to the working ranch atmosphere around us.
Friday, September 26
Halfway to Baker City, 55 miles, 4300’
Day 5 finds you climbing with wonderful vistas of rolling hills and fabulous descents on quiet roads. If the scenery were not enough, your treat at the end of the day is the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center , offering living history demonstrations, interpretive programs, exhibits, and more than four miles of interpretive trails. Yes, we’ll be there with your walking shoes!
Saturday, September 27
66 miles, approximately 3,000’
Grasslands, desert landscapes, wooded hills, wide open valley floors – you get it all today! Sometimes the road is so desolate, it’s hard to imagine you are so close to civilization. We’ve gained wonderful memories that will bring us back again to this wonderful area. Re-entering civilization, we return from where we started in La Grande just a few days ago.