Wallowa River Loop Sept 9-11 2016

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
User avatar
Paul2
Posts: 73
Joined: March 2nd, 2014, 11:02 pm

Wallowa River Loop Sept 9-11 2016

Post by Paul2 » September 13th, 2016, 11:04 am

I went to Eagle Cap for my second annual September weekend trip this last weekend. Little bit more snow left this year! I think that added a lot of beauty to the views from various peaks. I was prepared for all the horse poop and rough trails this time! Anyway, I got out of class at 2:20pm and was at the Wallowa Lake trailhead just before 6:00pm. My original goal was to make it to 6 mile meadow, but I found a camp spot just before that in the growing darkness. Lots of nice Aspen on that trail but it was mostly evergreens.
SAM_0269.JPG
The next morning I passed through 6 mile meadow and up to the Polaris Pass trail junction. Saw a little bit of frost! The Polaris Pass junction is unmarked, with just a rock cairn. It would have been really easy to miss, since it was at a creek crossing and the Polaris Pass trail is pretty faint. Lots of views heading up:
SAM_0271.JPG
SAM_0273.JPG
Almost there!!
SAM_0274.JPG
At the top, looking at Eagle Cap:
SAM_0276.JPG
SAM_0277.JPG
Down on the other side there was still some lupine going. Very scenic, open alpine meadows. My favorite spot in the Wallowas so far.
SAM_0278.JPG
SAM_0279.JPG
I was originally going to climb Pete's Point on Sunday, but it was 600 feet down to the trail junction from Tenderfoot pass, and I'd have to do that again so I decided to head on up the 1000 feet gain.
SAM_0280.JPG
.
Lots of views up top!
Toward Polaris Pass:
SAM_0285.JPG
Eagle Cap where Glacier lake is:
SAM_0284.JPG
Chief Joseph Mtn and Joseph:
SAM_0281.JPG
Hells Canyon and Idaho: I could see the Brundage Mtn Ski area near McCall, which was pretty cool.
SAM_0283.JPG
Lastly, Aneroid Mtn which I decided to climb in the evening. The Seven Devils are behind it.
SAM_0282.JPG
Pretty amazing vantage point. For most of the climb up there was a rough trail, and I met some people coming up on the way down.
Unfortunately, my camera died at this point, so I have no more pictures. It is a samsung es80 and and quits on me often. Plus takes lots of blurry pictures.
I ended up camping near Dollar Lake which is another amazing alpine area. Being from Oregon, I've probably camped at 8400' only once or twice in my life. I talked myself into climbing Aneroid Mtn for the sunset which is another great vantage point, but the views weren't as good due to darkness. In the morning I checked out Bonny Lakes, an easy destination from Salt Creek Summit, and then then turned around and went by Aneroid Lake to the Wallowa Lake trailhead. Didn't see to many people out, maybe 4-5 singles like me, a few couples, a group of horse packers and maybe 2 or 3 decent sized groups. There was a hunters tent that seemed deserted near Dollar Lake. Looked like a circus tent!
Very few downed trees, quite a few muddy sections and a little bit of dust as well.
Eagle Cap is such a gem for backpackers! Now I want to go again this weekend! Other stuff to do though.
I've been wandering early and late, from New York City to the Golden Gate, and it don't look like I'll ever stop my wandering.
-James Taylor

User avatar
texasbb
Posts: 1073
Joined: July 26th, 2008, 8:16 pm
Location: Tri-Cities, WA

Re: Wallowa River Loop Sept 9-11 2016

Post by texasbb » September 13th, 2016, 11:14 am

Where's the thumbs-up emoticon? :) I love it up there. I think Polaris Pass has one of the best views in these parts, though I've only approached it from the other direction. Thanks for sharing. (And get a new camera! :lol: )

backcracker
Posts: 30
Joined: July 25th, 2013, 11:55 am
Location: Tri-Cities

Re: Wallowa River Loop Sept 9-11 2016

Post by backcracker » September 15th, 2016, 6:11 am

Polaris is a long arduous multi-switchback climb from western side. Kudos. I day hiked up the W Fork, over Polaris, down to Tenderfoot, up the short ascent of Tenderfoot and back down the E Fork Wallowa in early August, roughly 25 miles. A nice sadistic day-hikable loop.

Did you make it over to Jewitt lake below Tenderfoot? Boney lakes are to be strictly avoided early in the season, very thick blood suckers.

Glad you enjoyed yourself.

User avatar
Paul2
Posts: 73
Joined: March 2nd, 2014, 11:02 pm

Re: Wallowa River Loop Sept 9-11 2016

Post by Paul2 » September 17th, 2016, 8:56 am

No mosquitoes at Bonney Lakes this time of year! I saw Jewitt Lake from Pete's Point but I didn't make it to the lakeshore.
I've been wandering early and late, from New York City to the Golden Gate, and it don't look like I'll ever stop my wandering.
-James Taylor

Post Reply