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Rattlesnake Pass to Wallowa Lake + ADD NEW ROUTE


2   in Washington Washington98 Miles

Motorcycle Roads Rattlesnake Pass to Wallowa Lake

By DeDe
on June 1, 2009

4.7out of 5

21 Riders rated

 Scenery

 Road Quality

 Roadside Amenities

Written Directions

Hwy 129 heads south out of Lewiston, ID/Clarkston, WA. If you are not familiar with the area, Google a detailed map to find your best route to avoid traffic depending on the direction you are coming from. At Asotin follow the signs and turn right after passing the gas-n-go. The road will start to climb up very quickly and from here just stay on the main paved road all the way to Enterprise, OR, about 87 miles. To find Wallowa Lake, Turn Left onto Hwy 82 and head toward Joseph for 6 miles. In Joseph go all the way up the main street past all the shops and the road turns left to head out to the lake, the park and Lodge are about 6 miles at the far end of the lake. (Note: taking the return trip, Hwy 3 at Enterprise is not marked from the east end - it is the wider street that heads north with a stop sign and kiddy corner to the older gas station. Continuing west on hwy 82 will take you to La Grand, OR, or Walla Walla, WA, both are great rides.

Special direction notes: From Joseph you can head east on the Imnaha Hwy, turn right onto Wallowa Mt Rd-FS39, to take you through the mountains to Hells Canyon and Oxbow.(This is a national scenic byway, but do call a head to the forest service to check road conditions as it changes every year and is closed in winter.) Take a left on Hwy 86 to Oxbow and you can link with another ID road on this site or take hwy 71 to Cambridge, ID and Hwy 95.

Scenery

The scenery on this road is amazing. You'll follow along the Snake River out to Asotin, then twist and climb up to the top of the Butte. To the southeast you will have some views of the cliffs of the north end of Hells Canyon Then the scenery changes from grasslands to wooded forest and you'll soon see the sign Rattlesnake Pass. Through the trees you start to get a glimpse of the grassy canyon you'll be descending; there are many view points along the way. Be sure to stop at Joseph Canyon Overlook for an amazing view of the historic Nez Pierce winter homelands and far off to the south the high peaks of the Wallowa Mts. (Blue Mts. of Oregon). The hwy continues south through the woodlands for about 25 miles and rounding a sharp right corner you'll get a majestic view of Eagles Cap peak and the Wallowa range. In May the grasslands are very green and the mountains are still covered in snow making for some amazing contrast. Wallowa Lake is quite spectacular especially in the early morning sun.

"Teak" added this in Jan of 2015: "Along this highway you will crest many times for spectacular views of north east Oregon, then drops repeatedly to ride along the river, excellent for a dip during hot weather. The Grande Ronde River. South of Enterprise is a dirt road, Crow Creek Road, that takes to a ledge looking down to the Snake River's Hells Canyon. I would take camping gear and overnight on the ledge."

Road Quality

From Asotin the road turns right for about 5 miles of wonderful twisties. At the top it leaves one thinking: is that all there is to this road; but, wait the best is yet to come. The road straightens out and runs across the farmlands to Anatone. Soon you'll be twisting all the way down Rattlesnake grade to the Grande Ronde River and Gorgan's Oasis where you can stop for a cold drink or a bite to eat. Continue on South for more twisting and turning where the road becomes Oregon Hwy 3. Use caution on the grade; gravel, bad pavement, semi's, RVs and tourist drivers were frequently seen. Once in Oregon the pavement is much better and you'll enjoy some gentle sweepers and opening up your throttle a bit. Rattlesnake grade

"Teak" added this in Jan of 2015: "The highway is very good pavement, curves and drops, map is deceiving when it shows a straight road way. the dirt road to Hell's canyon is graded, no ruts. Hellufaride."

Roadside Amenities

Not many amenities along this road and NO gas from Asotin to Enterprise so fill up before you leave - Note gas was 40 cents a gallon more in Enterprise, OR than in Lewiston, ID. Grogan's Oasis has cold drinks, food and souvenirs. Fields Springs State park is just past Anatone; camping is available. At Wallowa Lake there is Wallowa State park with camping, fishing and other activities and the Wallowa Lake Lodge that has a 4 star restaurant and excellent prime rib on Friday and Saturday nights. There is a tramway that takes you up the mountains in the summer months. Joseph is a fun little tourist town with lots of shops, inns, bars and good places to eat.

Rattlesnake grade

Wallowa Mts

Wallowa Lake

Joseph canyon



""A good view looking back on some twistys

"Teak" added this in Jan of 2015: "No amenities, gas and food are at Enterprise, a small farming town, if you want the tourist town, Joseph is a little bit farther. Definite tourist town, lots of brass sculptures, trinket stores and restaurants. Groceries and gas in Enterprise."

Additional Info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

Nickname (optional) : DeDe

What Riders Say About this Route Add Review & Rating

By Guest
on June 19, 2012 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2000

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Touring

We took this road from Lewiston on out way to Baker City. It's fantastic. Coming from the flat land the twisties here are so much fun.

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By Rigid
on April 8, 2012 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2010

Motorcycle Make Ultra Limited

Motorcycle Type Touring

We stumbled on to this road by accident in 2010. Great scenery, especially on the OR side. Lots of switchbacks and twisties. When you get to Enterprise be sure to stop at Heavenly's for a burger.

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By sweetjimmy
on February 29, 2012 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2004

Motorcycle Make Yamaha FZ6

Motorcycle Type Sport

I'm not the world's most experienced rider but I've been on some pretty twisty roads and the stretch through Rattlesnake is wild! It's the sort of ride sport bikes are built for. I stumbled upon Rattlesnake by accident back in 2010 on my way from LaGrande to Lewiston. I just happened to come across a group of Corvette owners and got to have some fun with one of them playing follow the leader through the canyon. The road stays pretty fun all the way to Clarkson, too. I can't wait for the weather to improve so I can head that way again.

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By MCR Contributor
on November 19, 2011 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year

Motorcycle Make

Motorcycle Type

In November 2011, MCR-member "ruffjeepster" submitted the following information about this motorcycle road:

In Enterprise you are surrounded by the stunning snow covered rocky peaks of the Wallow National Forest, with the Eagle cap wilderness just beyond. Route meanders through high mountain farm land. As you approach the Washington, Oregon, Idaho boarder you have views in deep river gorges green with grasses and teaming with wild life especially mountain goats. The tight curves start as you wind down into the rocky Grande Ronde river valley. Once you climb back out or the valley your back into rolling pature lands. At the end the route winds back down into the Snaker river area.

The road quality along the entire route is very good, not many potholes or road snake. The best part of the ride is the desenct and assent of the Grand Ronde River valley, dozens upon dozens of tight curves hugging very steep walls of the valley. Stay on your toes here because there is usualy gravel/fallen rocks on the inside corners closest to the cliff walls. Know your lean angle limits because you will push them to the limits. The rest of the route has nice sweeping curves with little traffic.

Get gas before you leave Enterprise or Asotin none along the entire route. There is a in the middle of the route at the bottom of the Grande Ronde river valley to stop for cold drinks. Boggans Oasis.

There are very large elevation changes between Enterprise and Asotin be prepared for drastic temperature changes. Even if its 80 and sunny in Asotin take a coat because the pass near Enterprise could be 50 degrees.

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By Harold
on November 2, 2011 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2002

Motorcycle Make Harley

Motorcycle Type Touring

The trip leading up to Rattlesnake Grade does not prepare you for the ride or the scenery you are about to encounter,but once it starts, all you can say is WOW!

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By RedWing04
on September 24, 2015 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year Goldwing 2004

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Touring

One of the best that Oregon and Idaho offers. Lots of scenery, lots of twisties and lots elevation changes (I think you go from about 1200 ft to 7000 feet and back down at least 3 times). It's like a giant roller coaster. The posted pictures are spot on. Would do it again if in the area.

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By Guest
on April 2, 2014 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 1998

Motorcycle Make Honda ST1100

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

Turn at Elgin and head over Tollgate to Walla Walla,back on 12 to Clarkson for a complete loop. My friend and I camped in Lewiston, rode the rattlesnake and above route and camped in Clarkson that night. 326 miles between campgrounds that are only a couple mile apart.

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By ferret
on January 5, 2012 0 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Victory Vegas

Motorcycle Type Sport

I live at the start of this ride; Asotin, WA. I ride often down Rattlesnake to Bogans Oasis Restraunt, not Grogains! The milk shakes and burgers alone are worth the ride. The ride is one of my favorites. The third weekend in August is Bronze Bike in Joseph, Oregon, a great excuse to ride and camp! The same weekend at Starkey, Oregon near LaGrande, Oregon is the annual Victory motorcycle get together weekend. More beautiful riding from Wallaw, Oregon to LaGrande, Oregon. Twists and turns through the mountains down to the river and then twists and turns back up the mountains and into the forest of Oregon.

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By Guest
on March 13, 2011 0 out of 1 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2004

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

I've heard of this trip many times over the past few years and I am finally gonna get to give it a run. Been up and down the old spiral highway lots. LOVE IT! June 9th 2011 I and my brother will be doing the snake. I will give my review then!

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By Guest
on March 9, 2011 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2003

Motorcycle Make Yamaha

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

I convinced a few guys to take this last year, and we all fell in love with it. I suspect we'll take it again this year. Fantastic ride!!

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By Guest
on October 6, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2001

Motorcycle Make BMW

Motorcycle Type Other

This is one of my favorite rides, and I've done it in all sorts of weather. Others have mentioned the gravel as a hazard, but I have to emphasize that there are often rocks which have slid off the hillsides on Rattlesnake Grade, of all sizes. Stay on your toes on this one!

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By Guest
on October 5, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.5out of 5

Motorcycle Year 1999

Motorcycle Make BMW

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

Took this road on a trip to McCall ID starting in Spokane WA. There is a road closure which had us divert through Baker City. Great ride between Baker City and McCall! This road is awesome scenery and nice turns the only reason I don't give it higher marks is the gravel and slightly poor pavement condition which slows the speeds. On the way down hit the old Lewiston Grade road you won't be sorry, two of the best roads you can hit in the same day.

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By Guest
on September 15, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.5out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2004

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

it is a great ride, but you have it listed is washington.

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By Guest
on July 3, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2005

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Oh its a wonderful ride I try and do atleast once a year. And makes a nice loop from Pendleton to Clarkston over the grade and back through the Wallowa valley and over the Blues. And great mid week not that much traffic.

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By Guest
on April 11, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.5out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2005

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

My friends and I did this ride a few years back and it's nothing short of spectacular. If you're in southeast Washington it's worth your time to add this ride to your trip.

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By Guest
on January 27, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2000

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

One of the best rides in Washington. A must ride ! Watch for the gravel in the corners.

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By Guest
on January 11, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.5out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2006

Motorcycle Make Suzuki

Motorcycle Type Other

I came across this GEM by accident leaving Lewiston in the early morning (best time!) headed south to Oregon. This is a must ride for any motorcyclist, it will not dissapoint

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By Guest
on December 31, 2009 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2001

Motorcycle Make BMW

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

I rode this section of highway back in July 2007 heading north from Enterprise, OR to Clarkston, WA. It is a wonderful stretch of highway with dramatic scenery, fast sweepers, and big elevation changes. The Rattlesnake Grade was particularly memorable... wide expanses of huge, barely forested hills and one twisty road down & out. You'll not want to stop for pictures but you'll regret it if you don't.

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By Guest
on December 29, 2009 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2005

Motorcycle Make OTHER

Motorcycle Type

The stop at the bottom of this grade is BOGGAN'S OASIS, not Gorgan's. Great milkshakes!!!

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By Guest
on October 21, 2009 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 1998

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Touring

A group of us rode this road June 2009, it was the number one rode that we rode on our trip in Washington State. Rode from North to South to Lake Wallowa. There is a great resturant at bottom of hill near Grande Ronde River at junction of DreamZ road. Biker friendly. Do not miss riding this road it is full of twistys and turns, enjoy it!

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By Guest
on September 24, 2009 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2003

Motorcycle Make Yamaha

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Superb! A must for all riders.

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