Lake Wallula, Oregon & Washington, USA
Lake Wallula, a 64 mile long reservoir, is a wide open glassy lake that extends from northeastern Oregon to southeastern Washington. Lake Wallula received its name from the small town of Wallula, Washington which was flooded when the area began to fill with water in April 1953 after the building of McNary Dam. Townspeople moved further from the lake and began the new town of Wallula. McNary…
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Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Wallula! Article topics include:
- All About Lake Wallula
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Lake Wallula Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Lake Wallula Gifts
Looking for Lake Wallula cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.
All About Lake Wallula, OR/WA
Lake Wallula, a 64 mile long reservoir, is a wide open glassy lake that extends from northeastern Oregon to southeastern Washington. Lake Wallula received its name from the small town of Wallula, Washington which was flooded when the area began to fill with water in April 1953 after the building of McNary Dam. Townspeople moved further from the lake and began the new town of Wallula.
McNary Dam was named for Oregon senator Charles L. McNary (1874-1944) who campaigned for better navigation on the Columbia River. Because of McNary’s efforts, Lake Wallula and McNary Dam were built and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forming a multi-purpose and beneficial lake to the area. The Lake Wallula and McNary Dam area includes a lock that lifts boats an average of 75 feet to aid in navigation, two fish ladders to aid salmon and steelhead returning to spawn, and irrigation capabilities for area farms. One of the largest hydroelectric power facilities in the United States, McNary Dam also includes two additional turbines whose purpose is to power the dam itself so the McNary Dam is entirely self-sustaining. While visiting Lake Wallula, visitors may take tours of the McNary Dam operating facility.
The landscape around Lake Wallula is wide open with few trees and arid conditions. All 16,908 acres surrounding Lake Wallula are public lands utilized for recreational purposes, wildlife habitat, and water-connected industrial development. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service leases approximately 3,500 acres of the public land for the McNary National Wildlife Refuge which supports large numbers of waterfowl due to the managed habitats in the area. The refuge was built to replace the natural habitats lost due to the filling of Lake Wallula.
Twenty two recreational areas surround Lake Wallula. These areas offer swimming, boating, camping, water skiing, wake boarding, fishing and hunting. Lake Wallula’s recreational facilities range from undeveloped remote beaches, to group picnic areas, to full service campgrounds with electrical and water hookups. Lake Wallula has 17 locations around its shoreline that provide public boat launching facilities.
Whether you visit for a day, a leisurely long weekend, or an extended stay, Lake Wallula will provide you with ample opportunities to enjoy the water, beautiful scenery and wildlife.
Things to Do at Lake Wallula
These are some activities in the Lake Wallula, OR/WA area visitors can enjoy:
- Water Skiing
- Wildlife Viewing
- National Wildlife Refuge
What Kind of Fish Are in Lake Wallula?
Lake Wallula has been known to have the following fish species:
- Steelhead Trout
Find Places to Stay at Lake Wallula
If you’re considering a Lake Wallula lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
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More Sites to Book a Lake Wallula Vacation
Our interactive Lake Wallula lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Lake Wallula Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Surface Area: 38,800 acres
Shoreline Length: 242 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 340 feet
Water Volume: 1,350,000 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1954
Drainage Area: 214,000 sq. miles
Trophic State: Eutrophic
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