Wallowa County

Contact

barn surrounded by yellow flowers
A barn along Little Sheep Creek Highway near Joseph. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
County Seat: Courthouse, 101 S River St., Enterprise 97828
Phone: 541-426-4543 ext. 15 (General); 
541-426-4991 (Court Administrator)
Fax: 541-426-0582

About 

Population (2018): 7,175
Established: Feb. 11, 1887
Elev. at Enterprise: 3,757'
Area: 3,153 sq. mi.
Average Temp.: January 24.2° July 63.0°
Assessed Value: $820,000,000
Real Market Value: $1,250,000,000 (includes the value of non-taxed properties)
Annual Precipitation: 13.08"
Economy: Agriculture, art, livestock, forest products and recreation

Related Resources

"County QuickFacts" (population and economic data from U.S. Census Bureau)
County Seat Map (from Google Maps)
County Map (from ODOT)

Incorporated Cities

Points of Interest

Wallowa Lake; art galleries; Mount Howard gondola; Eagle Cap Wilderness; Hells Canyon National Recreation Area; Minam, Wallowa and Grande Ronde Rivers

History and General Information 

This rather isolated area was claimed by the Chief Joseph band of the Nez Perce as its hunting and fishing grounds. The Nez Perce used the word “wallowa” to designate a tripod of poles used to support fish nets. In 1871, the first white settlers came to Wallowa County crossing the mountains in search of livestock feed in the Wallowa Valley. The area had been part of Union County since 1864, but it was carved from that county in 1887 by a legislative act.

Wallowa County is a land of rugged mountains, gentle valleys and deep canyons. Peaks in the Wallowa Mountains soar to almost 10,000 feet in elevation and the Snake River drops over 8,500 feet in elevation over its length. Hells Canyon, carved by the Snake, is the nation’s deepest gorge averaging 5,500 feet from rim to river.

The scenery in the county is spectacular and serves as a magnet for tourists. Unrivaled opportunities for outdoor recreation create the county’s reputation as a visitors’ paradise. Permanent residents enjoy the same recreation opportunities, adding to a high quality of life supported by traditional farm and forest industries, as well as art and tourism. 

County Officials

Commissioners—Chair Todd Nash 2021, John Hillock 2023, Susan Roberts 2021; Dist. Atty. Rebecca Frolander 2023; Assess. Randy Wortman 2021; Clerk Sandy Lathrop 2023; Sheriff Steve Rogers 2021; Treas. Ginger Goebel-Burns 2023; Surv. Richard Shaver