West Fork Wallowa River Trail #1820
ElevationAscent: 2,531' 771 m
Descent: -44' -13 m
High: 7,150' 2,179 m
Low: 4,663' 1,421 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 22% (13°)
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“The main vein which introduces runners and backpackers to the Eagle Cap Wilderness and its web of trails.”— Arthur McMahon
Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The first mile is in the forest where you'll be stepping over tree roots and leaving the sounds of civilization behind. A little farther in and you'll reach the West Fork of the Wallowa River, which will be your constant companion along the remainder of the trail.
The next five miles are a gradual uphill alongside the river where you'll run in awe of the towering granite mountains on either side of you until you enter the lake basin, which opens into a lush field of green grass, clear streams, and distant mountain peaks. This is where many make the decision to jump onto the Lakes Basins Trail #1810 to start the popular lake loop.
Continuing along the West Fork Wallowa Trail will take you through the east side of the basin where you'll start a more vigorous climb up into the granite mountains south of the basin. Here, you'll see sparkling granite slabs, cliffside caves, and rushing waters as you climb up toward Fraizer Lake. This lake has excellent campgrounds and is where the West Fork Wallowa Lake Trail splits into the Glacier Lake Trail and South Fork Imnaha Trail.
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Land Manager: USFS - Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Office