Wallowas conditions?

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
trailmasterp
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Joined: August 12th, 2011, 4:58 pm

Wallowas conditions?

Post by trailmasterp » July 22nd, 2019, 10:31 pm

Beginning on Thursday, a friend and I are planning to do the Lostine-Minam loop in Doug Lorain's book, minus the Minam Lake bit. (Up the Copper Creek drainage from Two Pan, by Swamp and Steamboat Lakes, by North Minam Meadows, up through Wilson and Brownie Basins, probably a detour via Chimney Lake, then out at the Bowman TH...or in reverse.) Does anyone have info on current snow, bug, and trail conditions for that area? Also, any good reason to do the loop in one direction versus the other? Thanks!

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retired jerry
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Re: Wallowas conditions?

Post by retired jerry » July 23rd, 2019, 5:24 am

In case there's no more current report, I was up there a couple weeks ago. Still a lot of snow. Probably much better now but still quite a bit of snow at highest parts. Probably doable.

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teachpdx
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Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: Wallowas conditions?

Post by teachpdx » July 23rd, 2019, 8:29 am

It sounds like there will still be areas of snow above 7500-8000', depending on exposure, etc.

I don't expect anything too crazy... my friend and I are going to be up in the area at the same time hitting up some peaks for a few days (Matterhorn/Sacajawea via Ice Lake, Glacier Lake, Eagle Cap, Lakes Basin) and the only area still probably holding a lot of snow is Glacier Lake and Glacier Pass.

Any other more current reports are greatly appreciated.

Webfoot
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Re: Wallowas conditions?

Post by Webfoot » July 23rd, 2019, 6:17 pm

July 20th I hiked East Peak from the top of the Wallowa Lake tramway. The only bugs I noticed were grasshoppers and butterflies. Here are some photos into the heart of the Wallowas showing the snow levels there.

Pete's Point & Aneroid Lake
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Chief Joseph
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Matterhorn & Ice Lake
613.jpg

Benson Glacier (south of Eagle Cap)
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trailmasterp
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Re: Wallowas conditions?

Post by trailmasterp » July 24th, 2019, 9:37 am

Thanks everyone for the helpful information and photos! We're headed out tomorrow, so I'll provide an update when I return next week.

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teachpdx
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Re: Wallowas conditions?

Post by teachpdx » July 24th, 2019, 12:41 pm

Your pic of Matterhorn is incredibly helpful, thank you! We plan on summiting it and traversing over to Sacajawea on Friday, and it looks like we will have no issues with snow.

I will also report back when we return on Tuesday. I know a lot of people are curious about the conditions.

Webfoot
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Re: Wallowas conditions?

Post by Webfoot » July 24th, 2019, 9:28 pm

:)

trailmasterp
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Re: Wallowas conditions?

Post by trailmasterp » July 28th, 2019, 10:07 pm

Here is a quick report on conditions. On Thursday, we headed up the West Lostine from the Two Pan TH and then veered off along Copper Creek. We didn't see any real snow until the Elkhorn Basin and even then it wasn't an issue. As we left the basin and headed up toward Sky Lake, we encountered larger snowfields, but still nothing dramatic. Nearing the pass (around 8700', I think) above Swamp Lake, we found much more snow and we lost track of the trail several times. The trail traversing the edge of the valley above Swamp Lake and the steep trail down to the lake both crossed significant snowfields, which caused us to turn back. They weren't necessarily impassable and someone with a higher tolerance for risk might have kept going, but we happily returned to lovely Elkhorn Basin and camped there. Mosquitoes were present throughout the day and were especially thick in the evening.

We also hiked up to Minam Lake on Friday, where we didn't encounter any appreciable snow. The mosquitoes were also thick there, however.

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BurnsideBob
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Re: Wallowas conditions?

Post by BurnsideBob » July 29th, 2019, 9:38 pm

Returned from 4 night trip to Cached Lake today, 29 July. Little snow on sun exposed terrain at any elevation. Some snow north facing exposures and sun-sheltered locations. Wonker pass still has snow on trail east side. Mozzies plentiful wet areas, but declining. Flowers ramping up.

Photos in order: Wonker Pass 28 July (Click to enlarge), Needlepoint 28 July, Matterhorn from ridge west of Needlepoint 28 July, Cached Lake on 27 July--last snow banks around Cached lake fading fast.
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teachpdx
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Re: Wallowas conditions?

Post by teachpdx » July 30th, 2019, 7:37 am

Ice Lake - snow free
Matterhorn - user trail passable from Ice Lake
Lakes Basin - snow free
Glacier Pass - one significant snowfield on the north side right below the pass, passable with caution

Mozzies: moderate at Ice Lake, few at Horseshoe Lake.

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