Wallowa Lake Lodge Oregon circa 1920
Wallowa Lake Lodge Oregon circa 1950

60060 Wallowa Lake Hwy Joseph, Oregon 97846
Phone: 541-432-9821 Fax: 541-432-4885
US Highway 84 to exit #261 at LaGrande,
then Oregon Highway 82 to Joseph and Wallowa Lake

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Hiking Trails at Wallowa Lake Oregon
The Chief Joseph Trail, the Aneroid Lake Trail, and the West Fork Trail are the three main trails that go into the Eagle Cap Wilderness from the Wallowa Lake area.

All start from the trail parking area, a short 1 mile drive/walk from the Wallowa Lake Lodge. Each provides the opportunity to day hike or to backpack to one's own ability.

Easily reached vistas and overlooks, wild flowers, and stunning autumn colors are readily available for the casual hiker. Hiking to the nearest high lake is a 12 mile round trip with a 3,000 foot elevation gain but you can go as far as the top of 10,000 foot peaks. The Wallowa Lake Tramway offers a shortcut to the top of the Wilderness where visitors are treated to unparalleled panoramas.

The Chief Joseph Trail
The Chief Joseph Trail is the family friendly trail at the Lake, with only the first 1/4 mile shared with horses. The first part of the Chief Joseph Trail is shared with the West Fork Wallowa River Trail # 1820 and then parts company with its neighbor at the 1/4 mile mark with a gentle right hand fork. At the 1/2 mile mark, the first bridge crosses the West Fork of the Wallowa River. Another 1+ mile a mountain waterfall cascades beneath the second bridge. In the early 2000's this bridge was washed out. The U.S. Forest Service has of yet to replace it. Crossing the waterfall is life threatening until late in the fail. Then it is extremely dangerous and the Wallowa Lake Lodge does not recommend crossing.
The first bridge on the Chief Joseph Trail
The Old Bridge - Photo by Steve larson
Fomitopsis pinicola
Fomitopsis pinicola - Photo by Steve Larson
Larskspur - Photo by Steve Larson

The West Fork Wallowa River Trail
The West Fork Wallowa River Trail # 1820 leads to the Ice Lake Trail, to Six Mile Meadow, to Lakes Basins, to Frazier Lake, to Glacier Lake ... and to the must buy trail guide " Hiking the Eagle Cap Wilderness " by local author Fred Barstad. Fred has hiked all of the 1,500 miles of trails and routes featured in this book.

The West Fork breaks away from the Chief Joseph Trail after the first 1/4 mile and for the next 1/2 mile goes up. It then changes to a gentler and more varied terrain. In the next 1 mile of that stretch you will find the Refrigerator, Twin Rivers, and the Grotto. The Refrigerator is a large, ancient rock slide down from which cold air gushes relief across the summer trail. Twin Rivers are two springs that cross the trail exactly opposite Johnson Creek at the 1.8 mile mark where the vista widens and the Autumn foliage explodes. The Grotto is an ancient tree stump on the East side of the trail from under which another small spring generates its own micro climate.

At the 3 mile mark the Ice Lake Trail veers away from the West Fork Trail and crosses a bridge over the river. This bridge washed out in 2009 but has been replaced by a single log bridge with a hand rail in 2013. A 5 mile journey begins that gains another 2400 feet in elevation before reaching Ice Lake. The trail that circles the Lake offers picture postcard photo opportunities.

The main branch of the West Fork Trail continues on past the cut off to Ice lake to Six Mile Meadow and to several other distant high lakes.

Big Pod Mariposa Tulip
West Fork Wallowa River Trail - Photo by Steve Larson
Big Pod Mariposa Tulip
Big Pod Mariposa Tulip - Photo by Steve Larson
The Aneroid Lake Trail
The Aneroid Lake Trail (East Fork of the Wallowa River Trail) gains almost 1,200 feet in elevation in the first 2 miles as switchbacks zigzag you to a small dam. About 1/4 mile further the Trail enters the Eagle Cap Wilderness then continues over a bridge that crosses the East Fork of the Wallowa River just below the 7,000 foot level. The final 2 1/4 miles gain another 500 feet in elevation before reaching Aneriod Lake at the 6 mile mark. The Trail continues on to Tenderfoot Pass which leads you further into the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

If you are going to choose to hike to a high lake, the Lodge recommends the hike to Ice Lake using The West Fork of the Wallowa River Trail. After crossing over the West Fork of the Wallowa River, the trail to Ice Lake opens up to views of the valley. While longer than the trail to Aneroid Lake, the Ice Lake trail gains about as much in elevation as the steeper, shorter Aneroid Lake Trail. Both trails are doable in a day hike, but only if you have trained to do so. Use your own judgement and be aware of changing weather conditions in the mountains.
Aneroid Lake from East Peak - Photo by Steve Larson
The Aneroid Lake Trail travels the valley below.

The Wallowa Lake Tramway
The Wallowa Lake Tramway has several loop trails from a quarter mile to several miles on the top of Mount Howard. There is also a restaurant there. Breathtaking vistas surround the top of Mount Howard. The trails at the top of Mount Howard are at the 8150 foot level.
Royal Purple
Royal Purple Viewpoint - Photo by Steve Larson
Northern Blue
Northern Blues, Wallowa Lake Tramway - Photo by Steve Larson

The entire property is non-smoking and no pets.

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