Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
7,000.00 ft (2,133.60 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
31.00 mi (49.89 km)
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East Fork to Glacier Lake to West Fork Loop is a wonderful backpacking trip to tour the Eagle Cap Wilderness just south of Joseph, Oregon.

The trail starts at the south end of Wallowa Lake at the Wallowa Lake Trailhead. Follow the East Fork Trail 1804 to Aneroid Lake about 6 miles in. Backcountry campsites can be found along the east side of the lake.

The next day will be arguably the most difficult, but it comes with very rewarding views. Start by leaving Aneroid Lake and ascending over Tenderfoot Pass and Polaris Pass soon after. Polaris Pass is the high point of this loop and has beautiful views of the many tall granite peaks of the Wallowas. From there, descend down the pass and connect with the West Fork Trail 1820 at mile 14. Continue along this trail until reaching Frasier Lake at mile 15.5. Frasier Lake is a shallow lake situated in a beautiful valley with multiple backcountry camping options.

Leave the West Fork Trail to join the Glacier Lake Trail. Climb past the beautiful Glacier Lake and to the top of Glacier Pass just past mile 18. After the pass, drop into the Lakes Basin, taking a right at trail 1810A, and choose one of the many pristine alpine lakes to camp. This is likely going to be the most crowded area of the entire hike, but each lake has many backcountry campsites to choose from. The following morning, descend the Lakes Basin Trail down to Six Mile Meadows (another possible camp site) and continue north on the trail another 6 miles back to the Wallowa Lake Trailhead. Make sure to stop at Terminal Gravity Brewing on your way passed Enterprise, just 15 minutes from the trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Days

4

Pros

Unparalleled views. Alpine lakes. Varied terrain. Beautiful valleys.

Cons

Exposure to sun. Long drive from any major city.

Trailhead Elevation

4,670.00 ft (1,423.42 m)

Highest point

8,900.00 ft (2,712.72 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Glacier
Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Fishing
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

Yes

Permit required

Yes

Permit self-issue on site

Yes

Field Guide

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