Wallowa Lake Family vacation – Day 1

Day 1 – The drive there and Trouthaven

We usually go to the Oregon coast for vacations. It’s close, we like it and we know various places to visit. This time Kug wanted to go somewhere else. I had heard about the Wallowa lake area as a good family vacation spot in Oregon from some research I had done and from a few friends. We also have the ulterior motive of finding a specific campground/resort that we could return to for an annual retreat with family and friends.

We ended up planning a bit on the late side so our choices were a bit limited by availability of cabin rentals. There were a lot of places listed online, so I ended up calling the City of Joseph chamber of commerce for advice. I checked out the places they suggested and decided on Trouthaven. It seemed like a nice family friendly place with nearby things to do and reasonable prices. They also had a cabin available for several days just before Griff starts kindergarten.

According to Google maps, the driving should have taken about 6.5 hours. We left at 9am, got coffee, made a couple rest stops and sat down for lunch. We arrived at 5pm. The boys we’re actually very good for the drive. Kug prepared a fantastic assortment of activities for them and I had the iPod loaded up with kids audio stories. We stopped in The Dalles for lunch and found a surprisingly good french style restaurant. While waiting for the food to arrive, Griff and I popped across the street into a thrift shop. We got lucky and found a couple nice board games for a few bucks each. I’m especially pleased at finding the 1979 SPI game Freedom in the Galaxy complete and only partially punched.
Img 5890 Edit
It was still light when we got to Trouthaven and we were greeted by the owner. We were initially put off a bit by his promptly informing us of the rules for children that included ‘no running’. The cabin was cozy, but big enough for the 4 of us. It was definitely old, yet in very good condition. We had a chance to explore the resort a bit before dinner. It has swings, see-saws, a sandbox, a basketball hoop and a couple other outdoor activities. It overlooks the lake with a steep drop down to the shore. We checked out the one trail from the camp down to the water. The lake was pretty low and this exposed enough sand to to make walking easy. We also wandered down a walking trail that runs along the ridge.
Img 5897 Edit
Most of the tourist lodging and activities are on the south end of the lake. While the west shore, where Trouthaven is located, is mostly residential. It may be the only place like it on that part of the lake. This is one of the reasons it appealed to me when I made the reservations. All of the other cabin rental options are on or near the Wallowa river that extends south from that end of the lake.

We were hoping for a couple other families with kids to be staying there as well and we got lucky. Griff spotted the kids quickly and we went to say hello. They were from Lake Oswego, a city near Sherwood. Unfortunately, they were leaving the next morning. We had dinner at the cabin and went to bed early.

Previous Next

Leave a Reply