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I'm Planning a four day hike in the Wallowas and am looking for someone with info on the area to help plan my trip. I've never been there, so I dont know very much about the area. I've heard alot of great things about the area, but I'm not sure what is good four day route would be. Just looking for some insight into the area.
Thanks for all the great sugesstions guys Its been a big help getting me going with this. We've decided on the Wallowa River Loop for this trip, we're keeping our options open for maybe a fifth day to summit Aneroid Mtn.
The trips recommended so far are all great, and you really can't go wrong in the Wallowas (I would even just suggest getting a good map of the area, and start creating your own loop trips). Last year, I did a couple of trips in the Wallowas, one was a variation of the Imnaha/East Eagle Loop trip. The other was the Lostine Trailhead to Swamp Lake, down to the Minam River and to Minam Lake - then back to the trailhead--both fantastic. Overall, I would have to say that the Glacier Lake area is my favorite in the Wallowas. Lakes basin is great too, but you do definitely run into more people. Oh, and I think Polaris Pass (part of Adam's suggestion) offers the best views in the Wallowas.
I hear ya. The wallowas are a place here you will want to take it slow and enjoy the veiws anyway. The hike I described is a loop. It takes you by aneroid lake, above the head waters of the imnaha and the drier side of the wallowas, right through the guts of the lakes basin and follows 2 different rivers. It is best done clockwise, to avoid big climbs. Get a wallowa map. There are a ton of loop options. You can even do loops inside of loops.
Thanks for the info Flowergirl. I will look into that book. Adam I dont want to do more than 12 miles a day I've got a couple of new backpackers this year and dont want to overwork them. I want to give them the fun and experiance of backpacking without killing them. Is the trip you've descibed a loop?
Four days might be different from hiker to hiker. Bob Marshall considered 60 miles to be a good day hike. How many miles is your limit over a four day period. I'm not sure of the official name. The trail starts out along the east fork of the wallowa river, heads over polaris pass, goes through the lakes basin and returns via the west fork of the wallowa river. I think it is between 35-40 miles.
I would recommend the Lostine-Minam Loop if you have only four days. If you have longer than four days, then I would recommend the East Eagle-Imnaha Loop. Detailed descriptions of both of these trips are in Douglas Lorain's Backpacking Oregon. There's a preview of the East Eagle-Imnaha Loop on googlebooks at http://books.google.com/books?id=w38ZjJpD csC&printsec=frontcover&dq=backpacking+oregon&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false Also, here's pictures from my backpacking trip this past summer when we did this loop: http://picasaweb.google.com/piercekam/ECW2009# This area is so amazingly beautiful that anywhere you go is a good choice.