The 4-O Ranch section of the Chief Joseph Wildlife Area provides hikers with incredible opportunities to view wildlife. As you follow the Grand Ronde River, walk over rolling hills through meadows filled with wildflowers, talus slopes, and ponderosa pine woodlands. The 4-O Ranch Unit is 10,500 acres of land acquired between 2011 and 2015 dedicated to preserving endangered species. There is also opportunity for fishing in the Grand Ronde River, a tributary of the Snake River.
Begin your journey from the parking lot, where there is a vault toilet for your convenience. A sign indicates the Wildlife Area behind a gate across the road. The trail continues behind the gate as you walk on an old farm access road. Quickly spot wildflowers in the spring as you walk up the hillside. At the crest of the hill, look out for a massive ponderosa pine at the top as you look out onto large herds of elk.
There are many different animals that call this area home. Hikers have the chance of seeing eagles, bear, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, cougar, butterflies, and various other small mammals and reptiles/amphibians. Steelhead and bull trout live in the creeks and river. It is a wonderful spot for wildlife viewers looking for a day hike.