For our Number Six Outdoor Adventure with Kids we traveled a bit farther into Eastern Oregon to the Wallowa’s, which are considered one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon. We stopped on the way in The Dalles, two hours from Portland, and ate at Cousins restaurant. We had decided to make this a non-electronic vacation (for the most part) and this elderly couple eating next to us noticed, telling us it was nice to see our kids sans phones at the breakfast table. That meant a lot, that they said something, and confirmed in my heart what we were trying to do as parents.
Wow, is what I can say regarding the Wallowas area. We wanted to explore this area of Oregon by hiking around the top of where the Wallowa Lake Tramway takes you.
It’s a 3700 foot rise to the top which sits at 8150 feet. That’s the Mt. Howard area. The 15-minute tram ride (not cheap) was a bit rough for me personally, so I took the seat facing up hill, but the kids loved it of course. At the summit we took short excursions around the groomed trails, breathing in the stunning views. The area is part of the Eagle Cap, which is considered a gateway into Oregon’s Largest Wilderness.
There were several short hikes at the summit, paths that took you to different view points. Views of the high desert of Indian country in one direction and then you can see past Hells Canyon in another direction, and then there’s Wallowa Lake.
The total hiking distance to these various viewpoints was about two and a half miles. Some day, when we are all healed and healthier, we will be able to explore and adventure in this area more thoroughly. There are much longer hikes if you are able to handle them physically.
Amazing, that this is only a few hours from Portland.
One of the fun little highlights at the summit was the squirrels. Silly, I know. The kids had fun feeding them — okay, they were not supposed to feed the squirrels but they did it anyway, and by the looks of the size of the squirrels, everyone else was feeding them too.