Wandering in the Wallowas

Billed as one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon, the Wallowa Mountains are an unrivaled marvel within our stunning state. Granite mountains, alpine meadows, glacial lakes, cascading rivers, and abundant wildlife all make this area a truly remarkable playground.

Since they are tucked away in the very Northeast corner of Oregon, though, the breathtaking views of this mountain range are often overlooked. The drive out to the Wallowas is just over 6 hours from Bend, depending on which trailhead you’re using. The Eagle Cap Wilderness area has the highest and most popular concentration of trails and has many points through which to access it.

For this trip, I was heading over for the Wallowa Lake Alpenfest to perform with my Bavarian dance group. The plan was to sneak in a couple days of hiking beforehand. I used the Wallowa Lake Trailhead as my starting point to wander up the west fork of the Wallowa River. Ice Lake was my base camp for two nights while I made a run up to the summit of the Matterhorn. Please enjoy the following pictures from this truly amazing journey!

 

 West Fork Wallowa River trail

West Fork Wallowa River trail

 Beginnings of fall color

Beginnings of fall color

 West Fork Wallowa River valley

West Fork Wallowa River valley

 Ice Lake

Ice Lake

 False summit of the Matterhorn. The true summit is behind this peak at 9,826 feet.

False summit of the Matterhorn. The true summit is behind this peak at 9,826 feet.

 Hurricane Creek and Eagle Cap Wilderness

Hurricane Creek and Eagle Cap Wilderness

 Returning from the summit looking down on Ice Lake 

Returning from the summit looking down on Ice Lake 

 One last look back towards the lake

One last look back towards the lake