7 The Wallowas

Wallowa Mountains
Wallowa Mountains

The Wallowas are mountains in Eastern Oregon. The tallest point is called Sacajawea Peak. It is 9,838 feet high. You can see far away from the top. Some say that you can see into the next state. In one direction, you can see the high desert of Oregon. In another direction, you can see past Hells Canyon. This canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon!

The mountains receive a lot of snow. Sometimes it snows more than 100 inches per year. That is enough for dangerous avalanches. What is an avalanche? A very large piece of snow, ice, and rocks quickly falls down the mountain.

There are many interesting things to see and do here. However, there are only a few towns. Some of them are now “ghost towns.” These towns were busy in the 1800s. People were looking for gold. Now they are empty.

This part of Oregon was the home of the Nez Perce. They are Native Americans. However, in 1867, the United States government allowed other people to move here from the east. Those people were called pioneers. Another word for them is settlers. Some traveled 2,000 miles from Missouri on a wagon road called the Oregon Trail.

The government took the land from the Native Americans. First, the government divided the land between the settlers and the Nez Perce people. Then the government told the Nez Perce people to leave the valley. There was war, and 125 people died. The government sent the Nez Perce people to a prison in Kansas.

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce people said:

I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. … It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are — perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.

Comprehension Questions

Writing Question

Land is important to many people. Write 3 or 4 sentences. Say why land is an important part of our lives.


“7 Wonders of Oregon: The Wallowas | Oregon’s Beautiful Secret.” Travel Oregon, Travel Oregon, 21 Dec. 2017, traveloregon.com/things-to-do/trip-ideas/7-wonders/7-wonders-of-oregon-the-wallowas/.

Garvin, Eileen. “Wallowas Oregon | Alpine Peaks, Meadows, & Wilderness.” Travel Oregon, Travel Oregon, 22 Nov. 2017, traveloregon.com/things-to-do/destinations/mountains/the-wallowas/.

“Nez Perce War.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Aug. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nez_Perce_War.

“Wallowa Mountains.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallowa_Mountains.

The image: “Wallowa Mountains” by Marc Shandro (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mshandro/35130911/) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons



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Seven Wonders of Oregon Copyright © 2018 by Timothy Krause is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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