Hike to the Matterhorn in the Wallowas

59782 Wallowa Lake Highway, Oregon

Details

Distance

23 miles

Elevation Gain

5000 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Roark Nelson

Hike to the top of one of the best viewpoints in the Wallowas and see some amazing views.

This adventure shares the first 9 miles with the Ice Lake adventure, and only once you reach Ice Lake does the trail for the Matterhorn begin. 

From Ice Lake, this hike will travel about 2.2 miles to reach the top of the Matterhorn and gain about 2,000 vertical feet to reach the summit at 9,826 feet. If you would like to do this hike in a single push from the trailhead at Wallowa Lake, then the trip length would be about 23 miles out-and-back with 5,000 elevation gain. 

The starting point for this trail begins at the NE corner on the lake, where the trail splits. One split goes to the south where most of the camping can be found by the lake, and the other split heads around the north side of the lake in the direction of the matterhorn. Depending on the time of year there may be snow covering parts of the trail, but this hike typically receives significant traffic that there is a clear trail through the snow to follow. 

After a quick stream crossing as you move around the lake, the trail will sharply shift north and quickly gain some elevation. From this point you simply follow the climbers trail, but be careful of loose rock as you get closer to the summit. 

Once on the summit, you can call it there or you can continue along the ridge line in the NE direction until you reach the summit of Sacagawea, which is technically the highest peak in the Wallowas at 9838 feet. 

This is a great hike for those looking to add a little adventure to their backpacking trip, and is a relatively easy summit to reach without any sections that require technicality.   

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