Joseph, Oregon

Camp at Bonny Lakes

7.8 Miles Total - 1300 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Gelyn Montanino

Scenic hike through a glacial canyon to a pair of glass-like alpine lakes. Expect wildflowers and rocky basalt bluffs as well as lush forests.

Starting at 6,490' in elevation, you get to experience all the benefits of hiking high up in the Eagle Cap Wilderness without the long, steep ascents typically found in the Wallowa Mountains.

The trail starts in a forest that burned in a 1989 fire. You will soon reach your first of many stream crossings, look for a large log that allows you to cross Big Sheep Creek with dry feet. At the next few junctions, keep left. At the 2.3 mile mark, you will reach a fork which is the start of the Imnaha Divide Loop. Go right, following the "East Fork Wallowa River" pointer. Take this main trail through forests, over 4 more creek crossings,  and up a rocky hillside following the rushing middle fork of Big Sheep Creek. At 3.9 miles, you will break out of the trees to lower Bonny Lake. Take some photos here then continue on the trail wich passes between the two lakes. Upper Bonny Lake will soon reveal itself, cross the stream that connects the two lakes and continue a few hundred yards through a marble outcrop. There are a few campsites along Upper Bonny and camps must be 100 yards from the banks of the lake. With meadows to the West of the lake, it's very likely you will wake to the sights and sounds of grazing Elk herds.

Getting to the Tenderfoot Trailhead:

In Joseph, OR, travel east on Imnaha Hwy 350 for 8 miles. Turn right onto National Forest Development Rd./Wallowa Mountain Loop and follow for 8.6 miles. Take a right on NF-39/Wallowa Mountain Loop, follow for 4 miles. Just after passing a concrete bridge where the road crosses a creek, take a sharp right onto the gravel road NF-100, follow for 3.2 miles to the Tenderfoot Trailhead. This is a single car road that is slow-going most of the way, branches scraping by at times so keep an eye out for oncoming vehicles. 

Read More

Tags

Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Cambridge, Idaho

Buck Park Cabin

Overview Buck Park Cabin is located on Cuddy Mountain, in the Payette National Forest of central Idaho. Guests enjoy the remote area for its hunting opportunities and abundance of hiking, biking, h...

Council, Idaho

Evergreen Campground

Overview Evergreen Campground is situated next to the Weiser River just off Highway 95 between the towns of Council and New Meadows, Idaho. Fishing and hiking are popular activities.Recreation The ...

Weiser, Idaho

Spring Creek Campground

Overview Spring Creek Campground is located along the peaceful Spring Creek in the Hitt Mountains of western Idaho. Visitors enjoy relaxing along the gentle creek, fishing and exploring local trail...

Lucile, Idaho

7 U Ranch Relaxing Mountain Get Away

This is what we offer here at the 7U Ranch. We have 2 available tents. This is tent#1. .-.-.-We welcome you to our ranch nestled in the mountains above the Salmon River,in Lucile, Idaho (near Rig...

From $85/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Backpack to Ice Lake 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-...

    18 miles 3380 ft gain

  • Backpack Wallowa River Loop

    This trip begins at the Wallowa Lake Trailhead at the south end of the lake. Permits are free and self-issued at the trailhead. Parking is also free!Follow the West Fork Wallowa Trail (#1820) for 3.1 miles until you reach Ice Lake Trail (#1808). T...

    51 miles 11400 ft gain

  • Backpack the Lakes Basin and Summit Eagle Cap

    The Location: With 360,000+ acres and 534 miles of trails, the Eagle Cap Wilderness is Oregon’s largest wilderness area. With rugged terrain similar to the nearby Sawtooth’s and distant Trinity Alps, this park's options for adventure are endless. ...

    30 miles 3500 ft gain

  • Hike East Peak in the Wallowa Mountains

    The Wallowa Mountains are one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon – and rightfully so. Also dubbed the “Oregon Alps,” this range has over 30 mountains over 9,000 ft. in elevation. While Central Oregon gets more visitors and credit for its massive volca...

    2 miles 1230 ft gain