All Results for: Wallowas

Ice Lake Trail #1808 - Wallowa Mountains, Joesph, Oregon

The trail is well built, and a popular ascent up to an alpine lake in the Wallowas. Other than a couple rocky sections, the trail surface is amazing and the incline is steady. It takes you up a beautiful canyon with a trip by a few cascades and waterfalls before it benches out in a basin. This serves as some brief respite before some climbing switchbacks on fabulous dirt up to a point where the trail wraps around a corner and you make a dramatic approach to a beautiful lake. The whole experience has a great awe factor if you can withstand the 8 mile, 3,500' climb from Wallowa Lake area. The trip couples the West Fork Wallowa and Ice Lake trails, which both have superb trail surfaces, and I was surprised what good time I was making running these trails...  
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Fake Creek Trail #1914 - Wallowa Mountains

Fake Creek Trail is mostly fake. While it exists on a map, in reality it is a concoction of bad practice in trail making. For starters, there is fake footbridge. Then there are many sections of fake trail and real trail which are difficult to discern. Presumably there existed and old moderate incline trail with switchbacks and then people came along and decided to go steeply up the mountain to avoid all the tree fall down across the trail. This brings up the topic of fake maintenance; there are many trees across the trail and in some places trees were cut out but not on the trail. This is really confusing because usually when I lose a trail the first thing I look for are cut logs to guide me back onto an old trail bed...  
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China Ridge Trail #1906 - Wallowa Mountains, Union, Oregon

China Ridge is a beautiful ridgetop trail with a nice view in all directions on the western side of the Wallowas. Burger and China Cap are the first peaks you get a nice look at, including the north wall of China Cap which is view-able on a good stretch of the trail after China Cap Pass. The trail serves as an excellent connector for a loop with Squaw Creek Trail and Elk Creek Trail or a more ambitious loop to North Fork Catherine Creek Trail. The trail starts off the Elk Creek Trail at a confusing intersection with no signage. The trail surface is in good shape given the limited traffic beyond China Cap Pass. Some use this trail to climb the peak and depart from the trail somewhere around or before the pass...  
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Flagstaff Trail - Wallowa Mountains

This is an unofficial trail that connects Flagstaff Butte ridge with Mule Peak ridge. It can serve as a bonus connector trail if one wants to do a loop of Sand Pass, Tombstone Lake, and West Eagle trails. Otherwise, it mainly serves as a hunters' trail or alternate access Mule Peak. It is a bit shorter and gains you some elevation over starting at Pole Creek Trailhead. The more recent heavier use of this trail was for fire crews to hike into the fire line for the Mule Peak Fire of 2005. That was probably the last time it was thoroughly cut out. The trail appears to be an old trail that was well established at one time, perhaps for access from an old lookout at Flagstaff Butte or connecting communication lines and transportation to Mule Peak Lookout...  
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Snow Reduction

by Brian Sather — Posted Wed, Oct 18, 2017

Despite mine, and others, beliefs the mountain snow might be here to stay it has been coming off this week. Right now, it looks like a little refresh will come but might be followed again by some mild temps to maybe open up some high trails again next week. I observed the snow up on Burger and it is mostly disappearing. There was a little snow left on the road around Buck Creek Campground but it is mostly all gone now with the warm south wind that has been blowing off and on the last few days. Also, the tamaracks are now on up high!
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Frances Lake Trail #1663 - Wallowa Mountains, Lostine, Oregon

The path up and over to Frances Lake is characterized by very long switchbacks and shallow gradients, too many to count. Some of the traverses hardly have any elevation gain, making for an excruciatingly long ascent that will be worth it when you get the view into this basin that is tucked in the Hurricane Divide. It is an awesomely barren landscape set in front of Twin Peaks and some really cool terrain that spills down to Frances Lake and some lower pools it feeds into. It is more common for stock to travel to the lake, probably because of the physical difficulty and length. Hikers will find it a difficult day hike to and from the lake...  
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West Fork Wallowa Trail #1820 - Wallowa Mountains, Joseph, Oregon

This is a trail fragment that will be finished later. West Fork is a super highway of trails. It perhaps gets the most trail users of any trail in the Wallowas with its close proximity to the ever popular Wallowa Lake. The first few miles get the most action and it serves as a route to access the Ice Lake Trail and some of the climbs of the high Wallowas. Parking to start the trail is at the Little Alps Day Use area at the very south end of the road. Trail Notes 0.0 mi. Start at Little Alps Day Use Area. The trailhead is on the east side at the end of the road. The East Fork Wallowa trail splits to the left right away. Stay right on the West Fork Trail. 0.3 Junction with Chief Joseph Trail to right. Stay left. 2.9 Junction with Ice Lake Trail. Stay left. ...  
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Chief Joseph Trail #1803 - Wallowa Lake, Oregon

To add insult, after running Chief Joseph away they named a crappy trail after him. You would think a trail in such close proximity to a high-use area like Wallowa Lake Campground would be in better shape, but no one seems to be using it. It doesn't even take you to the top of the mountain that bears his name. Some locals must have disliked this trail so much they built an unofficial trail straight up the mountain and it crosses over this trail several times. This other one is a better option if you plan to climb the peak. The trail starts off of the West Fork Wallowa Trail about a 1/4 mile up and it in great shape up to a very nice footbridge across the river. Then it is still okay for a ways until you get to BC Creek, where it attempts to cross this rushing cascade...  
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Frances Lake Dispatch 10-11-2017

by Brian Sather — Thu, Oct 12, 2017

Backcountry Update 10-11-2017

Backcountry Update 10-11-2017
by Brian Sather — Wed, Oct 11, 2017