Artfully chiseled by glacial movement during the Pleistocene Epoch, Glacier Lake is a breathtaking body of water resting at the edge of the Eagle Cap. The windswept, sapphire-blue lake is the primary source of the West Fork of the Wallowa River, which you’ll be following in its entirety from its termination at Wallowa Lake. While the clear waters of Glacier Lake are rather enticing, you might reconsider a swim, as its waters are perennially 39 degrees.
The nearly 13-mile journey from Wallowa Lake to Glacier is equally captivating, passing through wildflower-blanketed meadows and lakes hedged by the tall granite peaks of the Hurwal Divide. While this hike may rack up the mileage, the trail remains fairly gradual throughout. On top of all this, the trail provides access to a multitude of nearby side-trips and routes, including the Lakes Basin area.
It should be noted that because of its elevation, Glacier Lake is exposed and offers very little shelter during inclement weather, regardless of the season. Nearby Frazier Lake, which you’ll pass on your way up, provides sheltered backcountry camping and even some brook-trout fishing.