All Results for: Wallowa

Backcountry Update 8-10-2017

Backcountry Update 8-10-2017
by Tesmond Hurd — Wed, Aug 9, 2017

Goat Creek Trail #1665 - Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa, Oregon

"GOAT" could stand for Greatest of All Trails, but in this case it does not. It will go down as one of he most horrendous trails I have ever traveled. It really has nothing going for it, except that it is a trail surface that you can follow for the most part, which is more than I can say about some other trails I've tried to find. So I guess you would call this the worst discernible trail I have walked. I actually came down it from the Huckleberry Mountain Trail but I'm featuring it here from the bottom because this is your best bet to get any semblance of enjoyment out of it. The biggest problem right now is the trees across the trail. At one point I was getting in only a couple footsteps between each tree and as far as I could see there were trees crossing the trail...  
Read full guide

Storm Lake Trail #1689 - Wallowa, Oregon

A very pleasant ridge route is what the Storm Lake Trail offers as it takes you along panoramic views over the Lostine, Goat Creek, and McCubbin Basin. Then the trail drops over the east side of the ridge and gets nasty as it heads for Little Storm Lake. One really steep, poorly developed section will be difficult to negotiate especially on horse or mule. The lush hillsides support bighorn sheep and mountain goats, and of course many elk. The lake is a nice high alpine lake of fairly decent size that sees few visitors. I'm not sure where Big Storm Lake is or Storm Lake (after which the trail is named), but the lake you'll find on this trail is "Little Storm Lake." Maybe it is named after a little storm that happened there. Judging by the snow in July, I'd say it gets some big storms...  
Read full guide

Trail Conservation

by Brian Sather — Posted Mon, Jul 17, 2017

I've seen a lot of different trails in the last week and I continue to find support for my jaded attitude toward trail maintenance in this area. We have such an awesome resource in our trails, yet little funding or attention is being given to trail maintenance. This needs to become a public priority, especially for those involved in tourism. The biggest funding I've seen in recent years has been focused on building new trail, of which I'll ride and enjoy, but why are we building new when we can't even maintain the many miles of trail we already have? ...
Read more Trail Conservation

Little Bear Creek Trail - Wallowa Mountains, Wallowa, Oregon

This well-used trail does not exist on maps, getting action mainly from hunters and packing outfitters in the fall to access Storm Lake and Goat Mountain area where trophy game abounds. I remember accidentally taking the start of it a few years ago when trying to go up Huckleberry Mt. so that shows it is a little more of a beaten path compared to the official trail. It is direct and less steep route to get to get farther down Huckleberry Mountain Ridge. It is one of the root-iest trails I've been on in the Wallowas, but more maintained than most. On the way up, you stay tucked in the trees and have a few crossings of the creek. You're never far from it either so it provides better water along the trail then the Huckleberry Mountain route. Higher up it gets steeper...  
Read full guide

Big Sheep Ridge Trail #1685 - Wallowa Mountains, Minam, Oregon

The best way to do this trail is to take an old pair of socks that you want to burn, go hike it and then enjoy a campfire because the Big Sheep Ridge Trail is loaded with invasive cheatgrass that fully embeds in anything it can. Due to limited to no use, the first several miles of this trail have the cheat growing right in the trail which is also helpful to follow the trail because the color is different. As you get higher up on the ridge it disappears though and you can enjoy some more genuine landscape. Aside from the limited use and invasive weeds it is a nice trail the follows the very top of the ridge the whole way, so you get a nice visual of the far north reaches of the Wallowa Mountains. The trail is very rough and rocky for the bottom half especially...  
Read full guide

Dobbin Creek Trail #1654 - Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa, Oregon

A dramatic and scenic plunge from near Standley Ridge down to Bear Creek Trail, this trail sees very little use and not much maintenance. It starts off the Standley Ridge Trail not too far below the guard station and soon enters an alpine bowl in burnt timber. While it meanders through the basin, you get some views of Dobbin Creek cascading over some falls. As you reach the lip of the basin it ramps up the intensity with switchbacks and plunges into some beautiful old growth massive trees. Eventually you reach bear creek and have to wade across to meet up with the Bear Creek Trail. The Bear Creek crossing could be challenging around June & July depending on the snow melt...  
Read full guide

Standley Ridge Trail #1677 - Trail Running and Hiking, Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon

Visit the Standley Guard Station at the high point, in a pristine meadow with a spring emerging from the ground right beside the cabin. The cabin is locked up but appears in fair and usable shape. It is at an intersection of trails, so it serves as a good hub for the far northern reaches of the Wallowa Mountains. There isn't much water on the trail otherwise, so plan accordingly. The route is a gradual climb along the very top of the ridge with good visibility in all directions. Getting There Take the Big Canyon Rd. from the highway near Minam. It goes for about 6 miles before a definitive split in the road. Left takes you on a long climb up to Bearwallow Trailhead and the start of this route here...  
Read full guide

Snowmobile Big Canyon to Bearwallow & Standley Ridge - Wallowa, Oregon

by Brian Sather — Thu, Feb 2, 2017

Standley Guard Station Backcountry Skiing - Wallowa, Oregon

If the Forest Service would recondition the Standley Guard Station for public use during winter, this would be a worthwhile trip for a backcountry ski trip. Otherwise, it is a difficult endeavor for a single day ski tour but we're featuring it nonetheless. The challenge is following the narrow ridge out to the wide-open bench where the cabin is. At any point leading up to Bearwallow Trailhead area you could ditch snow machines and skin the rest of the ridge. Some advanced snowmobiling can get you to the wilderness line only 1.5 miles away from the cabin with almost all of the elevation gain completed. Along the route there are plenty of ski options if the snowpack is good, thanks to a fire in the 2000s that has left a lot of burnt standing timber on some interesting ski terrain...  
Read full guide