Heidi’s Gift Shoppe has two stores – both in the heart of Wallowa County – Oregon’s hidden, mountain splendor. One location is in downtown Joseph, just a mile from the azure Wallowa Lake. Our other location is in “Little Switzerland”, a Summer-only village at the South end of Wallowa Lake.
The Wallowas were named one of Seven Wonders of Oregon by Travel Oregon 2014.
Wallowa Lake is a crystal-clear sapphire; 4 square miles of pristine heaven at the base of 9,100 ft. Mt. Bonneville. Located one mile South of Joseph, there is a large swimming area and dock at the North end, and one of Oregon’s most popular state parks at the South end. This end-of-the-road, distant locale prevents the normal big-city onslaught that plagues most tourist destinations. The lake was formed by a series of glaciers carving out the river valley as they retreated down from Glacier Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness., leaving the lake to rest with a depth of 299 feet. Rocks and sediment carried by the glaciers developed into the twin moraines on either side of the Lake. At 900 feet high, these moraines are some of the largest and best-preserved in all of North America.
Once on the lake you will have constant opportunities to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Eagle Cap Mountains and the Wallowa Lake moraines. Here are some other great activities that Wallowa County has to offer:
Wallowa Lake Tramway: With the opening of the gondola in 1970, Wallowa County added one of it’s most popular attractions. The 3700′ vertical ascent to the summit of Mt. Howard is a memorable experience. The exciting trip to the top of the mountain allows one to enjoy the 4000′ view as the gondola rises above Wallowa Lake Village and the blue waters of Wallowa Lake, complete on top with Summit Grill.
Joseph, Oregon: Nestled in the midst of some of the most spectacular geography you’ll ever see is a little gem of a town with enormous charm. Surrounded by the breathtaking Wallowa mountain range of northeast Oregon, it is often referred to as the “Little Switzerland of America,” It’s a one-of-a-kind place rich in history, art, recreation and agriculture.
Hells Canyon: The deepest river gorge in America, The Imnaha and Snake River canyons lie just 25 East of the lake, but are a galaxy away from civilization. World-class whitewater boating. Spectacular mountain peaks. Vast reaches of remote wilderness for hiking or horseback riding. Diverse and abundant wildlife. Artifacts from prehistoric tribes and rustic remains of early miners and settlers. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area truly offers something for everyone, and much to remember.
Eagle Cap Wilderness: Known as the Alps of Oregon, The Wallowa Mountains run for miles from the Blue Mountains of E. Oregon to the Idaho border at the Snake River. Historically home to the Nez Perce Native Americans, the towering beasts of the Matterhorn and Sacajawea reach over 9,800 feet into the sky. Home to elk, black bear, bighorn sheep, the white wolf, and dozens of breathtaking alpine lakes, the Wallowas are truly a gem worth discovering. These mountains are maintained with an assortment of trails and campsites thanks to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
Zumwalt Prairie: North America’s largest remaining grassland of its type, the 50 square-mile prairie lies 30 miles North of Joseph. Home to a remarkable number of hawks, eagles and other wildlife, This diverse preserve hosts nearly a dozen native bunch grasses and over 100 wildflower species. The Zumwalt is open to walking visits during daylight hours.