Irondyke Forest Camp
Wallowa National Forestwrite a review 59866 Upper Lostine Road
Enterprise, OR 97828
GPS: 45.298, -117.395
|Last Price Paid:||$5|
|Number of Sites:||6|
“One of the more rustic "Forest Camps" along the Lostine River.”
Reviewed Jun 10, 2016
Irondyke is one of 8 rustic riverside campgrounds perched along the Lostine, 14.5 miles south of town. The gravel road is in pretty good shape until you get to the Lostine Guard Station, at which point it's rough but manageable for any size rig. Fresh water is available at the Guard Station which is only three miles downriver from Irondyke. The spigot is like a fire hose and at right angles to the 2" hydrant. You might find it challenging to fill your water containers.
"Walking, Talking Miller", an old prospector, once worked an iron mine near here. This site contained a large church camp until most of it was knocked out by a rock slide in 1976. Traces of the log amphitheater can still be seen between the road and the river.
Each campground along the Lostine Canyon is slightly different than the next, so take your time to find your own "sweet spot." Irondyke looked like the most primitive of the six that we checked out. It has an old-school un-vented outhouse, not the more modern cast concrete, vented pit toilet. We chose to stay one night each at the forest camps on either side of Irondyke: Turkey Flat and Walla Walla. However, since Irondyke is closest to the Bowman/Francis Lake Trailhead, you can easily start at Irondyke rather than the offiical trailhead nearby.
The Lostine River was running high and fast from the early snow melt. You'll want to wait until later in the summer to dangle much more than your toes in it.
There's no cell phone reception in this valley, so either drive back to Lostine or hike up a few thousand feet until you get a signal! We saw only two other campers from Sunday through Tuesday of the first week of June, 2016.
The Forest Service provide visitors with a helpful one-page printed guide to all the campgrounds and picnic areas along the "Lostine Corridor." Stop at the Lostine Overlook, 8 miles from town, to pick yours up from a brochure kiosk. Each of these facilities (called "Forest Camps" by the NFS) is very well maintained. We spent a morning visiting each one early in June of 2016 and can report that the toilets are clean and well-stocked. The trees have been cleared from the winter's storms and newly cut rounds have been left behind for campers to split and/or burn in the fire rings.
Note: Large motor homes or those towing oversized or tall trailers will have difficulty finding accommodations along the river, so try commercial parks in Joseph or at the Wallowa State Park.
This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com
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