Wallowa must see hikes!

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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Wallowa must see hikes!

Post by Mthoodlocal » August 13th, 2018, 3:15 pm

Planning on visiting a friend who lives in Wallowa, I'm hoping to be in the area for 3 days. What are some must see hikes or destinations I can't miss?

I'm pretty fit and have a penchant for suffering ;) . So long days are not an issue! Looking for the most quintessential Wallowa vistas, views, and lakes. I've been in the area before and have planned on some hikes, but would like to hear some beta!

Heading probably next week or the following on a Monday thru Wednesday kind of midweek adventure.

Thank you!

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Re: Wallowa must see hikes!

Post by Aimless » August 13th, 2018, 4:06 pm

For a fit hiker it is possible to hike the East Lostine River trail from Two Pan TH up to Mirror Lake and back in one day, but only if you can find a parking place! It may be the most-hiked trail in Eagle Cap, but for a good reason.

Another long, but highly rewarding day hike would be to hike the West Lostine River trail to the Copper Creek trail and ascend Copper Creek as far as Sky Lake and the headwaters of Elkhorn Creek. Sky Lake is not visible from the main trail, but easily findable if you can read a map. There is a user-trail over to it. Again, you would park at Two Pan TH, which is incredibly crowded in August.

A third lovely day hike would be hiking the Bowman trail as far as the Chimney Lake trail, then taking that trail to Chimney Lake, or up to Hobo Lake for a longer, but even better hike. The trail to Hobo Lake is a user-trail that does not appear on maps; it departs at the high point between Chimney Lake and Woods Lake.

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Re: Wallowa must see hikes!

Post by Born2BBrad » August 14th, 2018, 8:28 am

For a truly fit person who can handle a long day and some scree scrambling, take the tram and follow HE-HA Ridge (unofficial name for Mt. Howard/East Peak/Hidden Peak/Aneroid Mt.), down to Dollar Pass, then back to the TH on the E. Fork Wallowa Trail.

Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.
- Jean Luc Picard

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Re: Wallowa must see hikes!

Post by Bosterson » August 14th, 2018, 8:55 am

Mthoodlocal wrote:
August 13th, 2018, 3:15 pm
Planning on visiting a friend who lives in Wallowa, I'm hoping to be in the area for 3 days. What are some must see hikes or destinations I can't miss?
Sounds like you're dayhiking? A lot of "quintessential" (or, perhaps, lesser known) Wallowa spots are in the middle of everything, so backpacking helps. But some/all of this could be doable as day trips (mostly out and back):

From the north:

- W Fork Wallowa River TH: to Ice Lake, Matterhorn > Sacajawea scramble
- Hurricane Creek TH: to Thorp Creek trail to the E ridge "trail" up Sacajawea

From the south:

- W Eagle Creek TH: to Echo/Tombstone Lakes, take a view from Wonker Pass
- Boulder Park TH: Main Eagle Creek to Lookingglass Lake, or all the way out to Needle Point (no trail but easy scramble)
- Cornucopia TH: to Norway Pass, can loop via East Fork Creek trail, and/or continue into S Fork Imnaha. Try to tag Cusick Mountain for a super long day!

If you haven't yet done Ice Lake > Matterhorn > Sacajawea and don't mind a little scrambling (the Sac ridge is a lot easier than it looks in photos), it's probably the easiest day navigation-wise and highest value objective. The south areas would offer less of a "Wow!" experience in exchange for a more rustic vibe and fewer people. That would be a much longer drive if you're already in Wallowa though.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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Re: Wallowa must see hikes!

Post by backcracker » August 18th, 2018, 3:48 pm

These are all day hikes from the Northern and Eastern side that I have done. There's plenty from the Southern side but spend your time hiking not driving.
1) From Joseph head East and take the scenic byway to Tenderfoot trailhead. Take 1819 to 1802 passing Bonny Lakes up to Dollar Pass. On top of Dollar Pass head South for a short while on the boot path to Dollar Lake. Head back and descend Dollar Pass to 1804 and go over Tenderfoot pass taking 1814 back to 1819 for a loop hike. Before cresting Tenderfoot be sure and take in the view down to Jewett Lake. The southern side of Tenderfoot doesn't get a lot of use and you'll probably see big herds of Elk. 13-14 miles total (warm up day)
2) Lostine to Two Pan trailhead. Take 1670 up the West Fork of the Lostine to Minam Lake. Take the short trail 1673A to Blue Lake and back. Take 1661 over Ivan Carper pass (great views) down to Mirror Lake and head back on 1662 East Fork of the Lostine to Two Pan trailhead. 16-17 miles total. Again another loop hike.
3) Lostine to Maxwell Lake trail head. It's 4 miles to Maxwell Lake. At Maxwell Lake head SE around the unnamed Lake and head upward picking your way over the ridge which will culminate on a nice meadow plateau. Head over the plateau and Catched Two Lake will come into view. Pick your way downward and have lunch around this seldom visited jewel. Return the same way. Do not take the outlet stream down as that is the way I exited and it took 90 minutes to descend one mile. It's a supreme bushwhackers delight. Probably 12-13 miles total.
4) My ultimate Wallowa day hike headed up the West Fork of the Wallowa, over Polaris Pass, down to Tenderfoot Pass and back down the East Fork of the Wallowa for a nice 25 mile loop. (8 1/2 hours).

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