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Thorp Creek Trail

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 3.0 (1)

The most direct route to a beautiful valley surrounded by Sacajawea Peak and the Hurwal Divide.


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Map Key

3.6

Miles

5.8

KM

76%

Runnable

7,514' 2,290 m

High

5,397' 1,645 m

Low

2,148' 655 m

Up

46' 14 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (7°)

49%

Max Grade (26°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

This trail is within the Eagle Cap Wilderness and the usual federal wilderness area regulations and restrictions apply here. Practice Leave No Trace (LNT) ethics, camp 100 feet from fragile areas, bury human waste at least 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites.

This trail is usually closed by snow between November and May.

Need to Know

No recent USFS maps show the Thorp Creek Trail, but it appears on the 1990 Chief Joseph Mountain 1:24,000 USGS topographic map.

Description

The Thorp Creek Trail is a now abandoned trail that leaves the Hurricane Creek Trail #1807 and takes you to a high mountain meadow surrounded by some of the Wallowas' highest peaks. It is the easiest route, especially if done as an overnight, to the summits of Chief Joseph Mountain, the Hurwal Divide, and Sacajawea Peak. Even if you are not interested in scrambling up these peaks, the expansive meadows at the head of Thorp Creek make an excellent destination for an overnight (or longer) backpack. In the otherwise busy Eagle Cap Wilderness, here your solitude is likely to be assured.

Although abandoned, the trail is occasionally maintained by volunteers and is not difficult to follow once you cross Hurricane Creek and the grassy meadow on the east side of the creek. Follow the Hurricane Creek Trail #1807 for just under 2 miles, turn left (east) and cross the creek either on logs (preferred if the creek is running high) or, in the water is low in late season, by wading. Once across, head southeast, cross Twin Creek, and look for the well-defined use trail as it starts up the slope about 0.5 miles from the crossing.

The trail climbs steeply for about 0.5 miles, then its gradient eases as it starts into the Thorp Creek Valley. Be prepared for an amazing view of the north ridge of Sacajawea Peak from this section of the trail. At about 2.5 miles from the crossing, you'll enter the large meadow surrounding Thorp Creek. The spring-fed creek is a good source of water and campsites abound in the meadow.

The meadow is a great place as a backpacking destination or for scrambles to the summit of Sacajawea Peak or the Hurwal Divide. You can also reach Chief Joseph Mountain from here, but be prepared for a long, waterless day.

Flora & Fauna

During the summer, the meadow is swarming with a variety of rodents, so store your food in an appropriate animal-proof container.

Contacts

Shared By:

Bruce Hope

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#25606

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  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#856

in Oregon

#25,606

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Photos

Sacajawea Peak from the north end of Thorp Creek meadow.
Aug 28, 2019 near Joseph, OR
Looking south along Thorp Creek meadow toward the Hurwal Divide.
Aug 28, 2019 near Joseph, OR
One of the campsites in Thorp Creek meadow.
Aug 28, 2019 near Joseph, OR
Spring-fed Thorp Creek emerges from the Hurwal Divide.
Aug 28, 2019 near Joseph, OR
The north ridge of Sacajawea Peak from high on the Thorp Creek Trail.
Aug 28, 2019 near Joseph, OR
The Thorp Creek Trail just after crossing Hurricane Creek
Aug 28, 2019 near Joseph, OR

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