© Meghan O'Dea / Lonely Planet

Wallowa Mountains

Rising precipitously from the flatlands in Oregon's far-northeastern corner, the Wallowas have 19 peaks over 9000ft. Ice-age glaciers carved sharp crags and deep canyons into the mountains, and the moraines of one such glacier now impound Wallowa Lake. Much of the high country, including the only remaining glacier (Benson Glacier, whose status these days is debated) and Eastern Oregon's highest peak (the 9838ft Sacajawea), is part of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, a 715-sq-mile natural area studded with alpine meadows and lakes.

Trails, campgrounds and fishing holes are popular during high season. In particular, the lovely state park at Wallowa Lake takes on a carnival atmosphere on summer weekends. Some secondary roads over the Wallowa Mountains are closed between November and May, so check ahead.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Wallowa Mountains.