Sunday, January 3, 2016

Oregon's Joseph Canyon offers stunning views

Joseph Canyon Viewpoint
The views of Joseph Canyon from the highway are nothing short of stunning.  Travelers who stop at the Highway 3 viewpoint can literally see Northeaster Oregon for miles and miles.

The basalt-rock canyon itself is 2,000 feet deep.

The canyon not only has spectacular views but also offers a cultural history since it was the winter home of the Chief Joseph band of the Nez Perce Indians. Indeed, the canyon is named for the famous chief, who is thought to have been born in a cave there. Running through the canyon is Joseph Creek, which runs into the Grand Ronde River, a tributary of the Snake River that flows into the Columbia River at Pasco, Washington, ending at the Pacific Ocean.

For centuries the Nez Perce traveled through Joseph Canyon as they moved from the summer camp in the Wallowa Valley to their winter camp on the Grand Ronde and Snake rivers.

The Nez Perce own 15,000 acres in the Joseph Creek watershed and have turned it into a conservation area and wildlife refuge. The area is home to several threatened species of plants and the threatened bald eagle and Snake River steelhead. Elk, mule deer, golden eagles and red-tailed hawks can be seen. Tribal members use the canyon land for ranching and hunting.

The viewpoint is one of 38 sites in the Nex Perce National Historic Park. It is located in northern Wallowa County about 30 miles north of Enterprise, Oregon, and 11 miles south of the border with Washington. It has interpretive signs and vault toilets.

No comments:

Post a Comment