Category Archives: Eagle Cap Wilderness

The high country of the Eagle Cap Wilderness

My hiking partner, Bob, and I spent a delightful time in the high Wallowas, far from the “madding crowds.”  A ten mile hike and 4000 foot elevation gain to us to the tundra country of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, where its short spring was just arriving.  We have been here before, but it was the first time we caught it at the peak of its wildflowers.

 

Eagle Cap Wilderness moonrise

 

Bob above lake wm

Trail to Pete's Point
Trail to Pete’s Point
Eagle Cap Wilderness, named lake
Eagle Cap Wilderness, unamed lake
family fun
family fun
Feather
Feather
Snow line beauty
Snow line beauty
Heather
Heather
Eagle Cap Wilderness, early morning
Eagle Cap Wilderness, early morning
Lake reflection, vanishing point, Eagle Cap Wilderness
Lake reflection, vanishing point, Eagle Cap Wilderness
Rarely visited meadow
Rarely visited meadow
Snow lines
Snow lines
Eagle Cap Wilderness
Eagle Cap Wilderness

 

Eagle Cap Wilderness moonrise

 

3000 feet in 3 miles

There is no steeper trail in the Eagle Cap Wilderness than the one my long time hiking partner, Bob, and I took this backpack trip the last Thursday/Friday  of September. Three thousand feet up in three miles! The trail to the Legore mine and the meadow above  is as close to straight up as a trail can be. I had done it several times in my fifties, but at 73, with a backpack, it is much, much steeper than I remembered. What had seemed an easy ascent–and descent (going down was more treacherous than going up)–twenty years ago, was far different now.

We did 1500 feet up to Sawtooth Peak Friday morning. We saw both big horn sheep and mountain goats. Then we headed back down to camp, packed up and dropped the 3000 feet to the trailhead. (Lots of elevation for one day) I was as tired as I have ever been, but still exhilarated by what we accomplished!

 

Hurricane Creek. Falls Creek. Eagle Cap Wilderness

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The Falls Creek trail is steepimg_8299

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Where we camped above the Legore minelegore-meadow-wm

Hiking up the gully to the bowl below Sawtooth Peak

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Legore Mine, Eagle Cap Wilderness

legore mine

Troop 514 backpacking in July in the Eagle Cap Wilderness

Embraced by memories of mountain air, sounds of the river, and visions of green meadows filled with wildflowers beneath alpine peaks, I loaded  La Grande Troop 514 Scouts into the car to travel to the trailhead that leads up the East Fork of the Lostine River into the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The trail requires more effort than earlier years, but the challenge makes the time and beauty all the more meaningful. I am blessed to live so close to such a special place and still have the legs to hike, albeit at a slower pace. And it was particularly fun to backpack with these older scouts who could carry more weight and prepare a gourmet dinner and breakfast—despite the mosquitoes!

 

Eagle Cap and moon
Eagle Cap and moon
Troop 541 ib bridge over the East Fork of the Lostine River
Troop 541 ib bridge over the East Fork of the Lostine River
East Fork, Lostine River
East Fork, Lostine River
Mosquito protection
Mosquito protection
Campsite
Campsite
Diner preparation, Troop 514
Diner preparation, Troop 514
Waking up
Waking up
Breakfast, Troop 514
Breakfast, Troop 514
Eagle Cap
Eagle Cap
Breakfast, Troop 514
Breakfast, Troop 514
Wilderness run
Wilderness run

 

Our 49th wedding anniversary

Starting at the trailhead for North Catherine Creek, Meg and I backpacked to Catherine Meadows in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.  The six mile hike was made easier through friends who took in most of our gear on their horses and mules. High above Catherine Meadows, Meg and I celebrated with a kiss!

Catherine Meadows
Catherine Meadows
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Catherine Meadows. Horses
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Cartwheel Ridge
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Cartwheel Ridge
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Cartwheel Ridge
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Descending from Cartwheel Ridge
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Crossing North Catherine Creek
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Eagle Cap Wilderness. North Catherine Creek