Ice Lake and Matterhorn Peak

HARD 26 reviews

Ice Lake and Matterhorn Peak is a 16.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Joseph, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until September.

Distance: 16.6 miles Elevation Gain: 5,449 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

Ice Lake to top of Matterhorn (& back)

hiking
4 months ago

If you’re going to Matterhorn take trekking poles!!! Sketchy downhill without em and you WILL fall on your butt at least once. Worth the views though

hiking
5 months ago

Did a day hike up Matterhorn in September. It took about 9 miles to get to Ice Lake and the ascend to the peak after that was brutal. The last section were all loose scree and a bit sketchy. At the top you could see sweeping views of the Wallowas, Eagle Cap, Sacagawea Peak etc. If you have time you could also head towards Sacajawea Peak from the top of Matterhorn. Just follow the ridgeline with some scrambles for another mile or so. All in all, a great hike!

Sun Nov 18 2018

super hard but one of the most amazing places i've ever been to.

Tue Oct 02 2018

Hiked on Sept 28. Need a NW Forest Pass. Water available (bring treatment) all along Trail to Ice Lake. Nice gradual incline and trail is well-marked. Took me 3 hours, 72 degrees and sunny. Beautiful yellow Fall foliage all along route. It is hunting season now so be aware of that and wear neon orange. Trail to Matterhorn was well-marked for first 3/4 mile, after that I was just looking for the least slippery slope. Had to stop twice to rest. Thin air and quite steep. Took me 1 1/2 hours to reach summit. Worth every step to get a 360 view of the stunning Eagle Caps! I was actually higher than some birds! This trail is not for anyone who is afraid of heights or is not in good shape. Back at car at 6:10 pm so it took me almost 10 hours with stops for photos and snacks. One of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done!

hiking
Mon Sep 03 2018

Great hike... Insane views... High visibility.. Plenty of water opportunities. First things first, this was an incredibly rewarding, but difficult hike. I did this hike with 2 other people in one day. We started at 5:50am and got back to the vehicle at 6:45pm. The first 4 miles are reasonable and not difficult, but once you start along the switch backs on the way to ice lake, the trail seems endless. We took a lot of breaks along the way because one of my companions hip flexor was injured. By the time we got to Ice Lake, it was 10:30. Needless to say, we were reasonably worn out and ready to eat lunch. Around 11:30am we started up the Matterhorn trail which has loose rock and some scrambling moments(especially at the last two peaks). There are 3 false peaks, so do not be fooled. JUST KEEP CLIMBING UNTIL YOU HAVE NO MORE MOUNTAIN. My companion with the injured leg made it about 1/4 the way up and decided to wait for me and my friend to make it to the peak and come back. This took about 3.5 hours all together from Ice Lake, to the peak, and back again. That is assuming you don't hang around too long on the peak. That being said, my legs were exhausted... noodles by the time we got back down to Ice Lake. The descent is really hard on your knees and ankles, so if you're someone with poor joints, don't overdo yourself. From Ice Lake, the final descent to the parking lot toke 3 hours and 6 minutes for my friends and I. NOTE: We could barely walk by the end of this. If we could change it we would probably have spent the night at Ice Lake and split the time up into two days. However, we didn't feel like dragging camping stuff up the mountain and slowing us down.

Tue Aug 28 2018

I hiked the Ice Lake Trail to Matterhorn and then did the traverse across unknown mountain 9,775 ft , then slightly to the left to continue on the Sacajawea trail. The Sacajawea trail is a scramble but worth every effort to reach the summit. I then went back to the summit of unknown mountain then came down the scree section to Ice Lake. It’s a beautiful hike with very awesome views of the Wallowa range. From Matterhorn you can see Eagle Cap and all. I recommend this hike. I went in Early August, no mosquitos and hiked it in one day. I started at 4am and was back at parking lot by 6:30pm. I took plenty of rest and took many pictures. The total milage was 22 miles.

backpacking
Mon Jul 23 2018

We completed this hike just last week. The hike to ice lake is a good climb, but well worth it. The trail is easy to follow and well marked. We counted under 5 downed trees through its entirety. There are many established sites at ice lake, some more exposed than others. We found that sites just above lake level had slightly better wind which decreased mosquitos. However mosquitos are present at all times of day. The trail to Matterhorn is easy to follow and winds up he last 1.5 miles to Matterhorn peak. Quite a steep climb with amazing views of the lake the majority of the time. There were two snow drift crossings along the way. The last 400 feet are along exposed rocks, and many spur trails exist to the peak. We saw a family of mountain goats. Overall thumbs up

Thu Jul 12 2018

pretty neat

Mon May 21 2018

Tried to hike this trail recently Middle of May, it’s best to have snowshoes

hiking
Sun May 06 2018

I hiked this in the summer of 06. It took me 9.5 hours. I had lunch and a swim at the lake and refilled my water bottle with snow while I was there. The swim was most refreshing and the water was so clear that I could see the bottom of the lake.

hiking
4 months ago

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4 months ago

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4 months ago

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4 months ago

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5 months ago

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6 months ago

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Mon Sep 10 2018

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Sun Sep 02 2018

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Thu Aug 16 2018

Thu Aug 02 2018

backpacking
Tue Jul 10 2018

hiking
Mon Jul 02 2018

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Sat Sep 23 2017

hiking
Mon Aug 07 2017