Chief Joseph Mountain is a 13.4 mile out and back trail located near Joseph, OR and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is accessible from July until October.
Me and my father did a hike on the Chief Joseph trail and we loved the heck out of it. It's dry, but is a strenuous and beautiful hike. You can see the lake from one viewpoint, and the end of the trail leads up to a waterfall. The trail on the other side is washed out so I would not cross over to it. The hike itself smells heavenly, like roses and mock orange. Simply lovely.
Beautiful hike. Came across several deer and got an unbeatable view of Wallowa Lake below. Not too hard. But I was disappointed to see the bridge that crosses the waterfall washed out. It would be risky to cross it. But honestly. I think next time I will come prepared and give it a go.
My family and I (husband and three children - 4, 6,and 8) recently hiked this trail when camping at Wallowa Lake State Park. Even though you used to be able to go to the summit this way, the bridge that went over the waterfall is no longer there and other sites warn it is life-threatening to cross, so our hike ended there. There and back it was probably around 3 miles or a little less and gained maybe 500' in elevation. Just estimates.
The trailhead is easy to get to and has lots of parking available, although it is really close to the lake and resort area. Gorgeous views along the way ending at the beautiful waterfall. Some sections of the trail are just rock, but my kids managed just fine.