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Trip Report: The Wallowa Mountain Range
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Trip Report: The Wallowa Mountain Range

Trip Report: The Wallowa Mountain Range

When: 07/01/2017
Location: The Wallowas
Conditions: Lower 80's daytime. Mid 50's night. All the sunshine you could ask for.
Duration: 4 days/ 3 nights
Dificulty:
Depends on the trail. Shortest hike into the core zone is nine miles from Two Pan trail head. I would rate this hike as moderate. Other trails are longer with more elevation gain. All trails I hiked were well maintained. The Wallowas are a large region and the trip possibilities are endless.
Kid Friendly: Yes
Pet Friendly: No
Useful links: 
General Info - www.fs.usda.gov
If you want to summit some of the spectacular mountains - www.summitpost.org

The Wallowas

The Full Report:
I took this trip on a flier. My original plans for the July 4th weekend broke down. It wasn't hard to decide to go here. The Wallowas have been on my list for a while and they didn't disappoint. If you like backpacking in sub alpine zones with views of large craggy peaks, you will love this place. Given how large the area is you could come back year after year and fill your heart to satisfaction.

The Wallowas

I left my backpacking gear at home and opted for two different day adventures. I set up shop at Two Pan trail head for the duration of my trip. This would be a great jumping off point for a day adventure or a multi-day backpacking trip. It offers the shortest distance into the core lake zone with most of the elevation coming in the beginning third, leaving the remainder a nice hike through a small narrow valley along the East Lostine River. Budget extra time for all the photo ops along the way. I chose to hike into Mirror Lake and relax there for the day. The lake itself sits right around 7,600 ft and as you can see from the photos there was enough snow to go around for everyone even at the beginning of July. If you go any earlier than this bring crampons for traction. The trail hugs the bottom of the western ridge and the afternoon shade shelters the snow and having extra traction, especially with a heavier pack, would be nice. Also, bring waterproof footwear because snow equals snow melt. Great for hydrating yourself but not your feet. The hike is gorgeous, the lake is gorgeous, the views are gorgeous.

The Wallowas

For my second day adventure, I chose to hike into Aneroid Lake via the Wallowa Lake trailhead. This was another lovely hike with most of the elevation gain coming in the first third. For the first quarter, you get great views of Wallowa Lake with the remainder of the hike following the East Fork of the Wallowa River until you reach Aneroid Lake. This area catches more sun and the hike and lake were largely snow free. It was a clear example how only a couple hundred feet in elevation difference can make all the difference. The lake itself is large and there are several clear dispersed camp spots along the eastern edge. Since I was only visiting for the day it offered a nice way to cool off (aka ice bath myself) from the days warm temps and ease my exertions from back to back longer hikes.

The Wallowas

With Tuesday being the 4th I had a nice quiet morning before returning to Portland to celebrate with BBQ and sparklers.

The Wallowas

As I'm writing this I will be returning to this magical land for a 3-day & 2-night backpacking trip in early September. I plan on writing another trip report for that so stay tuned.

The Wallowas

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