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Crater Lake, Wallowas

Wallowa Mountains, Oregon

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Crater Lake, Wallowas

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  • View of the Wallowas on the drive to Halfway.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • The East Eagle Trailhead is one of the less populated stops in the Wallowas.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • Leaving from the East Eagle Trailhead.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • The trail climbs steeply up to the pass, offering better and better views as it climbs.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • Oregon grape blooms early in the season.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • View of Red Mountain.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • There are many places to stop and soak in the views along the way to the lake.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • Keep your eyes peeled for galls and other interactions between plants and animals.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • Enjoy your own little alpine paradise.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • Snow lingers in the mountains through spring and early summer.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • Watch and listen for mountain goats wandering across the rocks.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • The trail crosses some rocky, brushy spots along the creek.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • Bring your snowshoes if you plan a spring hike to Crater Lake.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • Snow covers up any sign of a trail in May.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • Looking east across a frozen Crater Lake.- Crater Lake, Wallowas
  • - Crater Lake, Wallowas
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Solitude. Expansive views. Wildflowers.
Cons: 
Long drive to the trailhead. Steep switchbacks.
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Region:
Wallowa Mountains, OR
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,970.00 ft (905.26 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
11.80 mi (18.99 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,580.00 ft (1,395.98 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

A lesser-known Crater Lake sits high in an alpine basin, guarded by craggy peaks. Unlike the Crater Lake located in Oregon's only national park, the only way into this place is by climbing up a relentless series of switchbacks that enter the Wallowa high country. Hikers who take on this heart-pounding adventure are rewarded with a sense of remoteness not easily found in this popular backpacking destination.

Along the way the trail crosses lovely meadows, pockets of forest, and a rocky streambed. In spring and early summer the trail becomes impassable with slow-to-melt snow. But well-prepared travelers with some navigation experience can snowshoe cross-country to find this treasure in the wilderness.

Be alert for wildlife on this trip. Deer and elk frequent the forest. Mountain goats roam in the high, rocky peaks. Songbirds flit from tree to tree, and raptors soar through the air. Wildflowers bloom in a stunning variety of colors throughout the summer.

There is ample opportunity for camping near the lake. To truly enjoy a backcountry experience, consider making it an overnight trip. Remember to camp at least 100 feet from the lake and practice Leave No Trace.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(13 within a 30 mile radius)

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