Ice Lake Trail

MODERATE 45 reviews
#1 of 14 trails in

Ice Lake Trail is a 12.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Joseph, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3330 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

Trailhead starts at the large parking lot at the Wallowa Lake Trailhead. Follow route 351 around the east side of Wallowa Lake and follow the signs to the Trailhead. Fill out a wilderness permit (no fee) and follow the trail at the end of the parking lot. Take trail West Fork Wallowa River trail #1820. About 2 1/2 miles you'll reach West Fork Wallowa-Ice Lake Trail junction. Hang a right onto the Ice Lake Trail #1808 and follow it the rest of the way up. Most of the altitude gain is in these last 5 miles. Once there, most of the campsites are on the left hand side as you walk up to the lake. So cross the creek on your left and head on around the lake.

hiking
1 day ago

This hike was super tough. We originally planned to camp at Ice Lake. But when we got about a mile form the lake the trail seemed to go straight up and the weather got cold. There were rumors of rain/snow, so we decided to go back and not get stuck. The views were spectacular. This is a definite try again in better weather.

hiking
8 months ago

It recorded around 7.5mi one way and it kinda felt like more than that...probably because of the elevation gain. Had to break the trail off on the last 3mi or so due to snow-seemed like it was 5in tall. Started late so had to camp out 4.3mi into the trail. Amazing view at the end, although it’s very windy. You can see the Matterhorn peak; will definitely go back here to summit Matterhorn and Sacagawea peaks!

8 months ago

I hiked to Ice Lake last July. This is an amazing place, one of my favorite hikes.

hiking
8 months ago

We hiked this trail on Saturday 9/23. It was a gorgeous hike but beware of snow the last 1-2 miles up to the lake. We were probably up to our knees the last mile or so and had been first on the trail to pack it down so it was slow going. Other than that, the trail was in great condition and I would definitely hike this again and hopefully remember to bring my gators this time ;)

9 months ago

Beautiful lake and hike. We did it in one day, including going up to Matterhorn peak after having lunch at the lake. Would have been better to camp the night instead of doing that all in one shot. Very challenging, especially from the lake to Matterhorn. We started at 8:30 am and got back to the car at 6:30 pm. We kept a pretty fast pace to beat sundown. Definitely go up to Matterhorn, I suggest walking sticks though! The view is absolutely amazing. Be sure to follow the cairns to get to the peak.

backpacking
9 months ago

Trail was a bit harder than we thought it would be, but not impossible. Beautiful lake. Lots of people backpacking over labor day, but still plenty of spots when we got up there late. Planned on summiting Matterhorn, but didn't get to it. I'll be back ice lake.

backpacking
9 months ago

My dog and I hiked in starting around 1pm on the Friday before Labor Day. The trail was well-marked with several opportunities for water along the way. Lots of flowers and nice views. The route was steep but the timing kept me out of the sun during the steepest bit. When we arrived, I opted to walk down the trail to my right to the far side of the lake and, to my surprise, had the place all to myself. (Good timing as I passed hordes of backpackers on the trail during my descent the next day). There are some nice campsites in the trees with a short walk to the lake for a chilly dip in the water.

hiking
9 months ago

I camped overnight at Ice Lake in July 2017. This place is absolutely gorgeous. The view of the Matterhorn from Ice Lake is breathtaking. This is one of my favorite hikes and I would love to do it in the winter.

10 months ago

Did this as a day hike, took about 6 hours round trip. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!

backpacking
11 months ago

Great trip; highly recommend!

I had trouble beforehand finding current maps that showed the route up to Matterhorn so recorded the entire there/back trip. As an FYI: if you use my recording, know that there were snow fields that covered the trail to Matterhorn summit so we went off trail a few times between ice lake and Matterhorn. Our return route (i.e. From Matterhorn back to ice lake) is closer to the suggested trail and definitely recommended over the route we took going up.

backpacking
11 months ago

Beautiful trip. We hiked to the lake and used it as a base camp to access a couple nearby peaks. Despite the elevation gain the trail never felt steep or particularly difficult. There is a lot of exposure to the sun, so get it done early if you're afraid of the heat. Bugs were an annoyance in camp, but the views and seclusion were totally worth it.

backpacking
11 months ago

This is a wonderful trail and is snow free. The bugs were especially bad at the campsites to the right of the trail when you are headed in. Crossing the Lake's outlet seemed like the better option for camping, so that you catch the breeze off of the lake. Also, leave enough time to explore around the lake. It's bigger than it looks and there are a bunch of cool areas to explore.

11 months ago

Excellent trail with a consistent elevation climb.

camping
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

one of my all time favorite trails to hike into and camp over night!

Thursday, August 04, 2016

amazing!!!

hiking
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This is a great hike with some amazing views. The trail has a few rocky areas and the switchbacks are moderate. Most of the trail you are next to rushing water or can hear it, after crossing the log bridge you start up the east side of the mountain and the views of water falls, wildflowers and overlooks are breathtaking.

hiking
Saturday, July 11, 2015

It was beautiful but I got eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Monday, July 06, 2015

really nice hike. it is a good place to camp for the night so you can climb up to Sacajawea peak, the tallest peak in the eagle cap wilderness area. The lake is very cold, and there are still lots of bugs! BRING BUG SPRAY.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Hiked this trail in a day and only took 7 hours round trip. Lots of bugs around lake itself

hiking
Sunday, August 19, 2012

Great hike- long for a day hike but it can be done. There is a log to cross the river, right now.

hiking
Monday, July 16, 2012

Would get a 5 star if not for two little problems, A tons of mosquitoes!!! B. No campfires allowed, I understand it is a very sensitive area and it gets hit pretty hard and needs to recover. But if you plan ahead those two things are non issues really. Words cannot describe the views! Plenty of creeks and water sources along the trail. FYI the bridge is out where you cross the Wallowa river but there is a large tree you can cross with ease. I say no crowds, but we did see 4 other people there, but we spread out so it was fine.

hiking
Sunday, November 21, 2010

I don't really want to say too much about the area. Its one of those places you just need to see for yourself. One negative about this hike was the amount of mosquitoes. No exaggeration, the most I've seen on a hike. We're talking clouds here. One plus was that they only came out in the evenings but they were really bad. So bring some good bug spray and maybe some citronella candles.

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
8 months ago

recorded Ice Lake Trail

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

backpacking
9 months ago

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