From Joseph follow the signs to Enterprise, you'll make a right down main street and the road make a hard left, then go straight ahead to remain on Hwy 82. At Elgin you'll make a hard left (going straight would put you on the 204 Weston/Elgin hwy). As you come into the La Grande area you'll make a right turn by the gas station and be on a 4 lane road, this will lead you to the I-84.
Hwy 82 from Joseph to La Grande provides excellent views of the Wallowa Mountains, including the Matterhorn peak and Eagles Cap and the majestic Wallowa valley of grass lands and cattle ranches. The Hwy follows the Wallowa River and then the Grande Ronde River before climbing over a mini pass out of the Wallowa valley and heading down into Elgin.
The road winds along the river in many places with great sweeping turns. The speed limits is only 55mph and you may find yourself cruising along at a significantly faster speed as the pavement is very good with very few breaks or rough spots. Do be ware of the corner signs that post the recommended speed; some leave you wondering why did I just slow down for that and other leave you feeling like 45mph OMG that corner should be a 30mph, then some of the tightest corners are not marked at all. Some good common sense will keep the rubber side down. This is a fun little road that I know I will ride again.
The Wallowa Valley has every type of outdoor activity including fishing for trout and steelhead, to some quaint shops and antiques. I like the little town of Joseph for its shops, restaurants and bars. Enterprise has a Safeway store, gas and some good places to eat. The Wallowa Lake Lodge has a 4 star restaurant with excellent prime rib. Do note it is difficult to get a place to stay on a weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There are lots of expensive B&Bs. Joseph hosts a motorcycle rendezvous the 3rd weekend in August, all types of bikes are welcome, but reservations need to be made almost a year in advance to get a place to stay in town.
This is a fun ride, especially when you're hauling through the mountains between Elgin and Wallowa, but that part doesn't last long enough before you're back on the straights again. Still, there are plenty of charming towns to rumble through, and the straights make for a relaxing ride, at least. If you're just passing through, I'd suggest swinging north from Enterprise to check out Rattlesnake on the way to Lewiston, or you can also take the back way to Oxbow Dam, East of Joseph (check road conditions, first, sometimes they close it down!). Lots of amazing riding in this part of the country. Oh, and Minam is a nice off-the-highway campground; good place to pitch a tent if it's not full.
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2 riders found this road review useful
November 1, 2010
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Standard
Thanks so much for sharing this route ~ absolutely beautiful country!