Experience the living history of the Wallowa Valley through this unique and beautiful tour of barns as you meander through the farming and ranching country of the Wallowa Valley east of Joseph. The low traffic flow, well-aged pavement, and county maintained gravel roads make for a memorable tour with breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, hay fields, barns, and everyday rural living.
This is a must do ride if you like beautiful barns backdropped by big mountains and very moderate terrain with a mix of gravel and paved roads.
Note that this route guide is still a work in progress, but the routes is so good (culturally and ride wise) that we have decided to publish it without all the multi-media content in place. Thus, we could use a bit of your help. We need pictures with barn name or mileage maker (see details section for an example) and video! Email us at info@DirtyFreehub.org with your stuff.
… in the spring when the fields are green and the mountain peaks are snow-capped. If Joseph is clear of snow, the route is rideable.
Park along the side of Crow Creek road at the intersection triangle of Crow Creek Road, Eggleson Lane, and Highway 82.
Lat / Long: 45.396038, -117.230237
A really big shout out to the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce for development of the Wallowa Barn Tour guide and for allowing us to use a significant amount content from that guide in this route description.
You will pass by 9 of the 31 barns highlighted in the Wallowa Barn Tour guide on this ride. We recommend printing out the guide, snapping a picture of it, or picking up a copy at the Visitor Center in Joseph and taking it along on the ride.
Please keep in mind that these barns are private property, many of them working ranches, so this is a “ride by” scenic experience only.
Also, do not let elevation profile intimidate you; it is very deceiving. It looks like one big climb and descent when in fact, the first 16 miles gain ~ 1100 feet with an average gradient of 1%. The steepest climbing occurs just before mile 16, where it pitches up to 5% for a short distance; however, the climbing is on pavement.
Built in 1906. Napoleon Beaudoin used this barn as part of a large sheep raising operation. Crossed Sabers Ranch is inscribed over the barn doors to commemorate owner Allan Carpenter’s stint in the cavalry. One of Wallowa County’s most photographed barns.
Built circa 1900-1920. Both barns were built by the well known early settlers, the Down family. The Strickler family bought the property in 1940 and operated a hay and cattle ranch. The ranch is now part of Triple Creek Ranch.
The McClains were raising hogs and dairy cows when the barn was built in 1920. Margaret McClain recalled that the cream was what put groceries on the table. The old farmhouse has been replaced, and a riding arena added. Al Adelsberger is the current owner of the ranch.
Built in 1935 by the Varney family, this barn was primarily used for sheep and livestock. The top half stores hay. Beautiful barn and backdrop.
We found little historical information on the cemetery itself; however, we took some time to wander and look: old headstones and grand views of the Wallowa mountains.
Built in 1933 by the Daggett family, the original owner was Ben Marks. After a few owners, the property was purchased by Mike Brennan and his family in 1961. The OK Quarter Circle brand on the barn is best known for Walter Brennan, a western movie star who made Wallowa County his home. Mike Brennan still owns this ranch.
The Knapper family built this barn in 1903 and used it for a small dairy. The milking parlor is on one side, with horse stalls on the other side. Hay was stored in the center of the barn. It is now known as the Smith barn.
Built in 1915 by H.D. Davidheiser for horses and a small dairy. The Alford family has owned this property since 1936. Beside this barn is the beautiful, historic farm home.
Built in 1905. Historically, this was the Rudger farm for years, and it was a dairy operation. The current owners are Rob & Ary Lamb.
This barn was built in 1913 by a crew of traveling builders that went from town to town building barns for a living. The barn was used to store hay, and horse stalls were later added. Now two owls reside here, along with many stored items.
We recommend a red blinky light for safety as many of the roads are used by farmers and ranchers for everyday work.
Shorter. There are several options to make the route shorter by using some east/west connectors:
Longer. An optional start is from the City Park in Joseph. This option adds 13 miles total (7 miles of gravel) and 450 feet of additional gain, and one additional barn at mile 6.3.