La Grande—Elgin—Enterprise—Joseph—Wallowa Lake Resort; 78.8
m., State 82.
Oiled gravel road; occasionally closed by snow. Union Pacific Railroad branch
roughly parallels route between La Grande and Enterprise. Daily stages between
La Grande and Joseph, and between Enterprise and Paradise. Good accommo-
dations in towns.
This route runs through the beautiful Grande Ronde Valley and gives
access to the rugged wilderness of the Wallowa Mountains. Here for-
ests are protected from despoilation and streams are closed to com-
mercial fishing. Rising sharply from a basaltic plain in tiers of mag-
nificent peaks, the short Wallowa Mountain range thrusts up a mass of
marble and granite. Ten peaks rise more than 9,000 feet in an area
covering less than 350 square miles, and almost an equal additional
number rise more than 8,000 feet. In appearance the Wallowas are
more rugged than the Blue Mountains, and, in their isolation, form an
imposing sight. From their slopes flow a number of streams that have
cut deep, rock-walled canyons, and plunge over ledges in long ribbons.
Glacial meadows are tapestried with brightly colored wild flowers. In
the forests are many lakes set in beautiful frames. East of the moun-
tains is the Grand Canyon of the Snake River—also called Hell's
Canyon, 6,748 feet in depth at one point, and separating Oregon and
State 82 branches northeast from US 30, 0 m. (see TOUR la) on
Hemlock St. in LA GRANDE.
ISLAND CITY, 2.4 m. (2,743 alt., 116 pop.), grew up around a
store opened by Charles Goodenough in 1874. It is on an island formed
by a slough and the Grande Ronde River, which drains into the Snake
in Washington. Peter Skene Ogden, the Hudson's Bay trapper, referred
to this stream in his Journal as the Clay River, and also as Riviere de
Right from Island City on a gravel road to Cove, 14 m. (2,89a alt., 307 pop.),
on the eastern side of the valley in a pocket formed by Mill Creek near the
foothills of Mount Fanny (7,132 alt.), four miles to the east. It is the market
center of a diversified farming, dairying, and fruit area, and provides transpor-
tation and guides for trips in the region. A dirt road follows Mill Creek, 7 m.,
to MOSS SPRING GUARD STATION, where a pack trail begins. BIG
MINAM HORSE RANCH, 15 m. (open May to Nov.), a dude outfit with a
landing field, is on a mountain prairie (3,600 alt.), surrounded by rimrock. It
is situated by the river from which it takes its name, a fine fishing stream
whose course is accessible by trail. Little Minam River flows into the larger
stream about six miles from the ranch.