Day Hike - Zumwalt Prairie Preserve


Day Hike - Zumwalt Prairie Preserve

Photo/naturalist-oriented hikes to enjoy great abundance of spring wildflowers, bees and butterfly pollinators, raptors and other wildlife, scenic landscapes.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Thu, May 23, 2019 — Sun, May 26, 2019
  • Seattle Naturalists Committee
  • Exploring Nature, Photography, Day Hiking
  • Adults
  • Easy/Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 11.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,800 ft

Updated 5/6: 

Meet time:  7:30am at Wallowa Lk SP campground (carpool)

 Thur-Sat:  8:00am at Crow Crk /Hwy OR-82 jct (betw Enterprise & Joseph) for Zumwalt Preserve, Buckhorn, Hurricane Cr/Falls Crk  hikes.   We'll look for raptors on drive between I-82/Crow Rd and Zumwalt/Buckhorn trailheads.

Sunday:  8:00 am at Crow Crk / Hwy OR-82 jct (betw Enterprise & Joseph for half- to full-day hikes at Zumwalt /Buckhorn or Falls Crk trails.






Updated 5/6:

For members only.  2 days easy to moderate hiking at Zumwalt Preserve, 1/2 day at Buckhorn Overlook, 1/2 day at Falls Creek trail (Hurricane Crk T/H).   See route/trail link for Zumwalt trail descriptions.  Leader will provide copies of Zumwalt and Buckhorn trail descriptions to participants.

Leisurely pace for photo / naturalist opps with short to extended stops.   We'll look at, and aim to identify and photograph some of the abundant and local spring wildflowers, bees and butterfly pollinators, raptors and other wildlife, and the scenic landscapes of the short-grass prairie and Imnaha canyonlands.  Many pollinating bee species (80-100+) and butterflies species (approx 50) are associated with the varied, abundant flowering plant species in the Zumwalt Prairie.  If we're lucky, we'll see a few moths, bees and other insects whose appearance mimic bumblebees or hummingbirds. 

Expect to see blue clematis and other early blooming flowers along Falls Creek trail.

Reserved accommodations recommended:  camping (tenting, yurt) at Wallowa Lake SP, or motel/B&B in Joseph or Enterprise.  Leader is camping in B-loop, with site sharing available,

Visiting the Zumwalt Prairie (overview, resources, exploring beyond):

Zumwalt Prairie IBA:

For Zumwalt Prairie and Buckhorn Lookout plant lists, see Paul Schlichter's Flora and Fauna Northwest website , select link to Northwest Plant Lists, Wallowa County, and download Zumwalt and Buckhorn lists.

Video links below for sample of scenery and flowering plants at Zumwalt Prairie, including Harsin Butte and Patti's Loop trails:

DRIVING/CARPOOLING:  Approx 6-7 hours drive time from Seattle to Enterprise/Joseph, via I-90 and Tri-Cities; approx 5.5 hours from Portland.             Be sure to have good tires, jack and spare tire for drives to Zumwalt and Buckhorn.  Carpooling encouraged from Seattle/Portland areas and  locally to day hike trailheads. 



Zumwalt Prairie Preserve

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
Trip Reports