Eagle Cap Summit

By Brian Sather — created Mon, 8/22/2011 - 8:02 PM

9.09 miles (14.629 km)

Elevation Gain:
7610.45 ft. (2319.67 m)
Elevation Loss:
-3874.62 ft. (-1180.98 m)

Max Altitude:
9566.93 ft. (2916 m)
Min Altitude:
5798.95 ft. (1767.52 m)
Eagle Cap is a giant mound of sandy soil and rock in the middle of the Wallowa Mountains, offering a 360 view of all the peaks and several lakes. It is the only mountain in the Eagle Cap Wilderness with an official trail to the summit, and offers virtually no technical challenge, other than some good fitness if you want to summit in one day. Wilderness camping opportunities abound around this mountain, so planning a summit for a one day trip from camp is a good option. Glacier Peak is just to the south. Several trailheads can access the summit. The Two Pan entrance is featured here. Two Pan is accessed by driving up the Lostine River south of Lostine. Northwest Forest Pass required a trailhead. Elevation: 9572 Trail Notes
  • There is a trail junction about a quarter mile up the trail. Take the East Fork Trail 1662 on the left.
  • The trail climbs for a while and then levels out in a long meadow along the East Fork Lostine River. Eagle Cap will be prominently visible from there.
  • Upon entering the Lakes Basin Management Area, the trail will come into Trail 1810. Go right for a few hundred feet and then look for the Horton Pass Trail 1910 left.
  • The Horton Pass trail climbs quickly with some switchbacks and then levels out in an area below Eagle Cap. There is an unmarked junction on the Horton Pass trail, with the Eagle Cap Summit Trail 1805 on the left. The trail cuts across the mountain to the left and works its way up to the ridge. An alternate route is to take the Horton Pass Trail a short ways up to the pass, and then follow the path along the ridge to reconnect with the Eagle Cap trail.
  • From there, the trail is very straightforward as it works along the ridge and then switches back a few times crossing the western side of the half-dome shaped mountain.
    Horton Pass trail, heading out of the Lakes Basin.
    The trail nearing the summit.
    Arrival on the summit.
    Looking north from the summit, toward Matterhorn and Sacajawea
    The Lakes Basin as seen from the summit looking northeast
    The view looking West from the summit, with China Cap in the far distance (center)
    The approach valley from Two Pan, along the East Fork Lostine River, as seen from the summit.