Wing Ridge is the go-to backcountry ski location for northeast Oregon. Easy access from the small town of Joseph and a variety of terrain make it appealing for backcountry skiers of all abilities. Salt Creek Sno-Park has a warming hut for use before and after skiing, and it also has some great views of Wing Ridge.
Thick stands of lodgepole pine make route finding difficult, so consider hiring a guide from Wallowa Alpine Huts to show you around and keep you safe if you're new to the area.
After navigating the web of cross-country ski trails and dense trees, gain one of the many smaller ridges that leads to the larger Wing Ridge. Wind slabs and large cornices often keep skiers from reaching the top of Wing Ridge, but the best skiing can often be found lower down where wind and avalanche danger is less of an issue.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.