Spend a weekend lounging by pristine glacial waters at the base of the second highest peak in the Wallowas.

Starting at the end of Wallowa lake, this 18 mile roundtrip hike begins at 4,520' and remains pretty mellow over the first 2.5 miles. Total elevation gain of the hike is about 3380', ending at the Ice Lake which sits at 7,900'.

Following the West-Fork Wallowa river trail 1820 for about 2 miles, until you switch to the Ice Lake trail 1808 and very quickly cross the river via log bridge. From here the trail begins to head uphill quickly, and you will tackle the remaining elevation by a series of switchbacks with some relief in the middle in a beautiful meadow. 

Once you arrive at the lake, you come to a bit of a fork with one trail headed to hikers right to the northern side of the lake. This is what is used to head up to the Matterhorn, but most of the campsites sit on the left trail which requires a quick hop over a stream. From here most people camp on the small peninsula, but if you up for a bit of exploring there are some other sites to be found in more quiet areas. 

The area can be a bit crowded on summer weekends due to the easy trailhead access, so try and plan accordingly. Always be sure to check local snow and fire reports and adhere to the regions campfire and leave no trace rules.  

Pack List

  • Backpacking gear
    • Backpacking backpack
    • Tent
    • Pad
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Camp stove + fuel
    • Cook-set
    • Mug
    • Water purifier
  • BUG SPRAY!
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Food
  • Meals
  • Snacks
  • Book
  • Swimsuit
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RT Distance 18 Miles
Elevation Gain 3380 Feet
Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Running, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Beach
Easy Parking
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Backpack Wallowa River Loop

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