Joseph, Oregon

I will fight no more forever. - Chief Joseph

Chief Joseph


Joseph, Oregon, a town nestled up against the Wallowa Mountains of Eastern Oregon, is named after Chief Joseph the Younger who was chief of the Nez Perce tribe and was born in the Wallowa Valley. He led his people in protest against the U. S. Government taking his tribal lands and being forced to live on a reservation. His plan was to lead his tribe on a long journey and cross the Canadian Border. He came within less than 40 miles of succeeding.

Joseph From the Air

Sam Beebe

Today visitors flock to Joseph, Oregon for various reasons. The town is just a mile from popular Wallowa Lake where three trail heads go into the Eagle Cap Wilderness area. Another reason for visiting is the town has become an art center. The most famous art is the bronze sculptures cast at the three bronze foundrys in the town.

Eaglle Cap Wilderness


Bronze statues decorate Joseph, Oregon on every street corner. You can see other artworks by visiting the art galleries in town. The Aspen Grove Gallery has glass, bronze, watercolors, pottery, and oils. The Indigo Gallery has hand-fabricated jewelry and other art by local, national, and international artists. Kelly's Gallery focuses on bronze sculpture but has other art as well.

Phil @ Delfryn Design

The Valley Bronze Gallery focuses on bronze sculpture cast in their own foundry. Here you can arrange for a foundry tour during the tourist season. You can find out more information about these tours by calling 541-432-7445. Several events take place in Joseph Oregon each year.

After enjoying the bronze galleries, stop in at Eastern Oregon's first micro-distillery for a tasting. The Stein Distillery is owned by the Stein family, third generation farmers in the Joseph area.  They grow the grain themselves and produce the spirits including vodka, rye whiskey, bourbon, several fruit cordials. The tasting room which is located on Main Street is open Mon. - Sat. from 11 am to 5 pm. and on Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm. 

Also on Main Street is the Mutiny Brewery Company where you can get a refreshing micro-brew and put an end to hunger pangs for lunch or dinner.  The menu includes Ceasar Salad, Asian Salad, Red Curry Coconut Rice Bowl, Asian Noodles with Chicken Satay, 6 Ranch Burger, Pulled Pork Trio, and Asian Chicken Wrap. They are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

In July is the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo held at the Harley Tucker Memorial Arena. It attracts major contenders from across the country. If you plan to attend this five-day event, book your overnight lodging in advance.

Eagle in Flight Bronze


The 14th Annual Bronze Blues and Brews Festival will be held at the Joseph Rodeo Grounds on Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10, 2013..

The 7th Annual Bigger and Better Bronze Bike Motorcycle Rendevous will be held August 16th, 17th, and 18th, 2013. There will be biker games, favorite bike contest, live music, and dance.

The Eagle Cap Extreme Mountain Sled Dog Race will be held January 22, 2014 through 25, 2014. The race begins at Wallowa Lake State Park south of town. For more information visit Eagle Cap Extreme.

A WinterFest is put on each January by the Wallowa County Gamblers Snowmobile Club. 

So what's it like in Joseph, Oregon during the winter. Well, in one word, cold. But add to that lots of sunny days with snow on the ground and you have a winter funland for snowmobiling, dog sleding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Summers are warm days with moderate to cool nights. The area usually has a long Indian Summer in the Fall. The rainiest time of year is in the Spring.

Wallowa Lake


Nearby Wallowa Lake Wallowa Lake provides opportunities for all kinds of outdoor recreation year round. There are camping spots at Wallowa Lake State Park. Wallowa Lake Lodge has rooms and rustic cabins for rent. The Matterhorn Swiss Village has cottages for rent.