This blurb is primarily about the central to east end of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The vast wilderness area next to the Snake River in eastern Washington and Oregon truly is a no man's land that offers endless panoramic views. The drive on Washington State Road 129 to the Oregon Border was described in a previous article. Once inside the boundaries of Oregon, this same road is called State Road 3 and it continues south through the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. This is a nice scenic drive and there are many dirt roads along the way that go deep into this wilderness area, which is like an endless maze of grassy rolling hills and dry wash canyons.
There are sections of State Road 3 that follow the creeks through the floor of the canyons and wildlife can easily be spotted in these areas. One canyon looks like another in these parts and the canyons point in all directions, so it is easy to lose one's own bearings. It is not until the road climbs to the high ground that the overall picture is realized. When first seeing this majestic landscape from an overlook, be prepared to stand and stare in awe!
The east side of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest offers plenty to do and there are camping options down the dirt side roads. There are a few developed campsites in this area, while dispersed camping is always an option. A few scenic overlooks located on the high ground offer panoramic views and there are several creeks and small lakes to keep anglers busy. Wildlife photographers will like the prospect of touring SR 3 through the Walloawa-Whitman National Forest, because this terrain offers everything from large predators to herd animals and the migratory bird watching is superb. There is even a roadside bison farm where taking pictures of these big animals is easy to do.
During the autumn season it is mostly hunters and nature photographers that visit the central and eastern parts of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Minam State Park and the Wallowa River are nearby, while adventures on the Snake River are always an option. This is a desolate region as far as Oregon is concerned and it is often overlooked by mainstream tourists, so plenty of breathing room awaits in this picturesque place. This is more than reason enough to plan a tour in this neck of the woods after the summer season tourists go home!
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