Today we again drove to the south end of Wallowa Lake and took the tramway / gondola up Mount Howard. Since we are not fit enough to climb into the mountains, we took the easy way.
It is supposed to be hot here, not east coast hot, but bad enough that we thought it would be a good idea to go the cooler air up high. It was very pleasant.
The tramway was built in 1970 and has small 4 person cars but it was not busy today so we got one to ourselves each way.
The tramway climbs 3700 feet to near the top of Mount Howard at 8100 feet giving great views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
There were only a few spots where the trees did not block at least part of the lake.
Once at the top of the tram there is a restaurant with a patio and a trail system that takes you to some lookouts around the peak.
We did the loop in the counter clockwise direction to total just over 2 miles.
First up was the Royal Purple Lookout, up some stairs to a small hill with a view to the west and south.
Part way along the trail were some chairs where I imagine they hold weddings. Nice backdrop!
Lots of mountains to stare at.
The one peak look much whiter and smoother than the rest.
At every viewpoint, these guys were everywhere. They were obviously used to being fed (despite the signs saying not to). They would climb up your shoes and leg looking for an offering. We had to be careful with the knapsack.
The tiny wildflowers were everywhere.
Even a dragonfly.
The Summit Overlook was naturally at the summit and a bit of a climb.
Up we go.
Lots of dead trees poking up into the clear blue sky.
Looking back down.
Wherever there were zig zags on the map, we were climbing.
Up here we got the same, slightly higher view to the west.
To the south we could see a trail winding its way up to the peak in the background, along with some people down in the valley on their way up.
To the east the view was into Idaho, Montana and the Hells Canyon area.
In this direction everything is far enough away that the details are lost in the haze.
A spiky tree with some very purple flowers at the bottom.
The next two overlooks were just just more views to the east. This part of the trail was mostly in the trees.
This interesting tree had red growths on the end of each branch.
The side trail to the Valley Overlook took you out into an open meadow.
When we got to the overlook it was empty so we sat on a log to rest and enjoy the view. Then all of a sudden a crowd descended.
The weird thing was that they all came at once but were not part of one group. There were at least 3 or 4 different groups that all left at different times.
While we had lunch everyone left and we had the place to ourselves again for quite a while. The view looked north over the lake.
The view to the west was still pretty good.
I climbed up passed the windsock to take this photosphere.
There is a wind sock here because it a launch point for the paragliders.
Just past the end of the lake is the town of Joseph and north of it is Enterprise.
Our RV park is just a mile north of Enterprise.
After a good look we walked and climbed back to the tram and then down to the car.
We thought about walking around Joseph but with the high elevation and the sun, we were done for the day.