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Hurwal Divide

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Looking to the summit of the Hurwal Divide from Chief Joseph Mountain, Sacajawea Peak to the right (bobcat)
Mountain goats below Hurwal's summit (bobcat)


The Hurwal Divide is a dog-legged ridge that connects Chief Joseph Mountain to the Matterhorn - Sacajawea Peak ridge in the Wallowa Mountains. The dark shales of Hurwal contrast starkly with the brilliant gray-white marble of Sacajawea and the Matterhorn and the colorful granodiorite, greenstone, and basalt of Chief Joseph. The high point on the Divide, which is Oregon's 7th highest peak, is at the northern end of the undulating ridge.

The name is rather unromantic and comes from an abbreviated combination of the drainages to its east and west: HURricane Creek and the WALlowa River. The Hurwal Divide can be accessed from several points: Ice Lake, cross-country from the Chief Joseph Trail on the Wallowa River side, or via the Thorp Creek Trail or Thorp Creek Meadows. All ascents are steep and involve some time on scree.

Mountain goats often wallow on the bench below the summit and a trip to the top of the Divide can also be combined with excursions to some of the neighboring high peaks.

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bobcat (creator)

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