Lackeys Hole Trail #1942 - Wallowa Mountains, Cove, Oregon

Loading map...
13 miles (20.92 km)

Total Elev. Gain:
3,553 ft. (1083 m)
Total Elev. Loss:
-3,914 ft. (-1193 m)

Max Altitude:
7,556 ft. (2303 m)
Min Altitude:
5,237 ft. (1596 m)
by Brian Sather — Updated 2 months 2 weeks ago · Posted Thu, Jul 27, 2017
This trail serves as a nice artery to several other trails in the Little Minam and Catherine Meadow area. It drops down from Moss Springs and follows the Little Minam upstream past its headwaters and up to the ridge top. There you have a visually dramatic ridge route above the North Fork Catherine Creek and then drops down the other side to the mysterious Lackeys Hole. Then you cross a saddle and visit Lackeys Lake, a small shallow pond in a basin, before you travel through some meadows and thicker woods eventually getting to North Fork Catherine Creek Trail not too far from the Minam River. The opening miles of the trail get a surprising amount of use, perhaps because there are more options compared to the Horse Ranch Trail. Huckleberries line the trail for quite a ways. At two miles you have to ford a couple creeks, which can be significant at times but there are plenty of logs across. From there the trail climbs steadily along the left side of the canyon, initially in thicker forest and then you break into an older burn and open slopes for visually appealing wrap around the basin and push up to the junction with two ridge-line trails, Jim White and Cartwheel Ridge. There is water at Lackey's Lake and then a significant stream crossing in a mile or so but then you won't see water for the rest of the trail. At the junction with North Fork Catherine Creek Trail you have to go at least a mile either way before the next water crossing. The trail is very-well engineered and has a solid basis for most of it, making no unnecessary turns. The ridge-walk above Catherine Creek is a bit slanted and rocky and off the back side there are some trees across the trail that need attention. Overall I was impressed with the quality of this trail though and it deserves to continue on down to the Minam since at that point the North Fork Catherine Trail is unworthy of the finishing stretch to the river. Trail Notes
  • 0.0mi Start at Moss Springs Trailhead and take a right immediately when the trail forks.
  • 1.1 Pass an unmarked junction with the start of the Salt Trail.
  • 1.9 Dobbin Trail (Art Garrett) on the right, followed immediately by a ford of Dobbin Creek.
  • 2.0 Crib Point Trail to the right at a camp spot, followed immediately by a ford of the Little Minam.
  • 3.4 Mud Spring Cut-off trail to the left.
  • 7.7 Intersection with Jim White Trail (left) and Cartwheel Ridge Trail (Right).
  • 8.4 Drop off other side of ridge into Lackeys Hole.
  • 9.4 Lackeys Lake
  • 13.0 End of trail at junction with North Fork Catherine Creek Trail. This is 1.4 miles and 850 vertical feet above the Minam if you go left down to the river. The footbridge across Rock Creek is 1 mile away.

Entering the Hole.
A little rocky at times, but mostly good and open trail coming down from Moss Springs.

Trail nice and wide near Dobbin Trail

Rock pile beside the trail marking the Mud Spring Cut-off.
The big traverse across the open slopes once you pop out of the trees.
The trail traverses across this ridge and around the basin to a point with this view.
Trail surface is mostly great up to the top of the ridge.
Looking back toward Moss Springs with the rock pile near Ben Point and the Salt Trail visible on top of the ridge.
A post marking the trail intersection with Jim White Trail (left) and Cartwheel Ridge Trail (right), and Lakeys Hole continuing straight.

Big ridge traverse above North Fork Catherine Creek.
Looking back down the ridge.
After dropping into Lackeys Hole you are in the trees.
Trail switched back in the Hole heading for the saddle.

Dropping over the saddle.
Last switchback before the lake gives you a nice view into the Minam and Katy Mountain & Sturgill Peak on the other side.
Lackey's Lake

Stream crossing with a tree across the trail.


A long stretch across the mountain.

Nearing the end of the trail.
At the trail junction, looking back at the end of Lackeys Hole Trail.