Explore the most popular trails near Joseph with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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backpacking

Joseph, Oregon Map
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backpacking
6 days ago

8/01 - 8/03: Went in to Aneroid Lake via the east fork then over Polaris Pass and up to Glacier Lake finshed through the Basin and down the west fork. Awesome trip!! Stunning scenery, Bugs a non factor, water refreshing, and fish biting!! Trails down from Polaris Pass in pretty rough shape, but worth the extra effort!!

Absolutely AMAZING! Worth the hike up. Got eaten alive by mosquitoes no matter what we did, but would totally do it again. The view is worth it.

Beautiful trial! Go in the early morning so you could enjoy the scenery more before you need to return down to wallowa.

backpacking
13 days ago

7/30 - left trailhead at 8:30am and arrived at 6-mile meadows at 11:30 am, crossed river and had lunch, started up Lakes trail at 1pm and arrived at Horseshoe Lake at 2:30pm, made camp on August Island, swam in lake, weather was stellar, bugs not bad, bean and rice burritos for dinner
7/31 - up at 7am, breakfast of eggs, biscuits, and prosciutto, swam in lake, packed up and onto Mirror Lake at 9am, arrived at Mirror Lake at 11am and made camp on lake with great view of Eagle Cap, hiked to both ends of Mirror Lake in afternoon, briefly saw a group of bighorn sheep in west meadow that were quickly scared off by another hiker's dog
8/1 - headed for Eagle Cap at 7:15am and made summit by 8:45am, trail was very good and clear of snow, unfortunately a haze of smoke was in the area, diminishing the incredible views, on return made scramble to small peak on other side of Horton Pass and had lunch, unable to traverse ridge further to Minam Lake trail, but had nice views of Minam and Blue lakes
8/2 - late breakfast and broke camp, backpacked to Glacier Pass around 11am, absolutely beautiful at Glacier Lake, arrived around 1pm, jumped in icy cold lake and had lunch, considered staying, but headed for Frazier Lake around 2:30pm, gorgeous views on downhill traverse to Frazier along creek coming out of Glacier Lake, arrived at Frazier around 3:30pm, an underwhelming lake in comparison to Glacier, decided to keep hiking for 6-mile Meadows, crossed back over river about 4:30pm, arrived in meadows around 6:30pm
8/3 - broke camp and hit trail at around 9am for easy 6-mile descent to trailhead, arrived just after noon, great trip and beautiful area, would highly recommend and plan to go back

backpacking
22 days ago

Gorgeous hike, the whole way. The lake is stunning, the color of the water unreal. Wildflowers everywhere. Didn’t want to leave. Mosquitoes are not playing games, but didn’t have any problem with them until ~6 pm.

hiking
22 days ago

absolutely beautiful, one of my favs.

hiking
23 days ago

We did the hike as an out and back. It was doable as a day hike but would have been a lot better to stay overnight and not be crunched for time. The views were amazing with lots of waterfalls and a beautiful lake view at the end as a reward.

hiking
23 days ago

Great hike, beautiful views, varied terrain. There was still some snow on the trail but it was passable with a little side stepping.

Cost $35 to ride the tram up. Great vistas and well maintained trails. A lot of tourist that don't respect staying on the trails and feed the wildlife.

Knocked this trail out today. The trail starts off fairly gradual but starts climbing pretty quickly up the side of the mountain via switchbacks. I have read other articles that says this is the steepest trail in the Wallowa’s. It was created by miners but is still maintained. I started at 4am because I did not want to make the grind up in the beating sun. The trail crosses a few streams as it makes its way up the valley. I made it to Legore mine (old copper mine) and also found what looks to be remnants of an old log cabin. These are remnants from pioneer Joe Legore who’s family came east on the Oregon trail and were one of the first settlers in the Wallowa valley. A few feet inside the mine there is an ammo can where you can sign in on the papers that have been left inside, some interesting reads. From here I continued up where the trail disappears from time to time. There is no true trail at this point but others have worn a path that leads to an awesome meadow. From the meadow it continues up the valley over boulders and a few snow fields to the 2nd meadow where you have a great view of the back of Sawtooth Peak. A trail leads up from the left at this point which takes you up to a saddle which overlooks Legore lake, a tarn that is stocked with fish, (8,950 feet) which is the highest true lake in the state of Oregon. From the saddle above Legore Lake there are great views of the back side of Chief Joseph mountain and Twin Peaks. After resting for an hour I turned around and flew back down the trail. The views are incredible but make no mistake this trail is a beast and goes straight up in several areas. Just remember the true trail ends at the Legore mine, from that point forward it is up to you. Legore lake is probably a mile to a mile and a half-ish past Legore mine. I saw no one else on the trail. It is a steep descent be very careful and bring first aid just in case. Bugs were minimal. I uploaded a bunch of pics of the trail, mine, cabin, meadows, lake, etc.

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike but tough! Did 5 miles out and back to the first stream crossing. Very petty and a tough 1500’ of gain and then loss!

We dayhiked on Saturday and left the trailhead around 9 am. We clocked it on GPS at 7.5 miles to the lake which took us around 3 hours to get to the top. There are breathtaking views all along the way, and it follows a gorgeous waterfall for the last couple miles. The lake was clear, full of fish and cold but swimmable. On the way back down we passed at least 10 small groups of backpackers heading up. This hike is for sure is the talk of the town and for good reason!

hiking
30 days ago

My friend and I hiked to Ice Lake from the trailhead in Wallowa Lake State Park on July 15. We had read conflicting reviews about the length and found that the sign at the trailhead does indeed say 9 miles to Ice Lake. My gps tracked us and said 6.6 miles to the lake and about 13.6 when we returned to the trailhead. The trail is very well maintained and has well-placed switchbacks that facilitate the 3200’ elevation gain without any steep or grueling sections, although some do cross a relatively narrow scree field. There are incredible views around every corner and intermittent tree cover for shade. The lake itself was utterly,breath-takingly beautiful! Cold but swimmable. I highly recommend this hike!

Felt like I was back on top of Mt. Blanc! Incredible views worth the ride price.

According to Forest Service the trail is about 9m each way. We go in July when there is no snow on the trail. It takes about 6 hours to get up, maybe less getting down, with a 30m lunch break and a few rests.
It’s unreal up there.... absolutely amazing.

trail running
1 month ago

This is a great area with beautiful views for trail running or a walk with kids. It should not be rated moderate as it is very easy with minimal climbing.

This is farther than All Trails states. When we approached the trailhead, the sign states 9 miles to Ice Lake.

Fun hike with lots to see!

hiking
1 month ago

Well worth the hike! The lake is stunning.

This is an easy hike with incredible views at the top of Mt. Howard. It’s a tram ride up and down the mountain. It was a gorgeous day today, sunny and breezy. Burgers and brews at the top. Fun but not hardcore hiking!

The Wallowas are a beautiful range and well worth checking out. I would give this a four star but my buddy and I had a bit of a misadventure on this one. We started from Hurricane Creek trailhead and ended up overshooting the barely visible trail which would lead across Hurricane Creek losing about 3 hours in the process once we recovered. Traversal of the creek was dicey, we had to use downed logs to get across.

The trail eventually gets steep before opening up in a meadow. Our resources were a bit depleted from the misadventure so we were thankful to see a creek high up where we could refill water.

Then we began the final traverse. The snow season ended early this year, so the final ascent was entirely made of scree. There is a small trail that ends up disappearing in places which adds to the confusion of route finding.

Thankfully, we made the ridge and had to perform a couple class 2 scrambles on the ridge line to reach the summit where a couple cairns are setup.

The views were excellent as we can see well into the Wallowas, making the early pains worth the payoff.

The down climb was a little rougher as we were running on empty and the skree was killer on our feet. But my buddy and I made it to the trailhead bagging one of the great peaks of Oregon!

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful hike the whole way with the gorgeous reward of Aneroid lake at the end. First two miles are steepish but after that it gently climbs. We did this on 6/22/18. Small snow patches up near the lake. The top 3 miles of the trail are ok for somewhat technical trail running. We ran down from the lake for about 4 miles but that last mile was we’re rocky.

hiking
1 month 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.

Gorgeous hike with not a lot of people..

Nice leisurely walk with gorgeous views!

Have done this hike several times, carried my daughter in the pack a couple times. My then 8 year old son did the hike and was ahead of me running the whole time!

Fantastic Spring Hike. There was still some snow fields on the hillsides which filled the creek and added a wild sound effect to the downhill rushing water. The trail is easy but gradually up. A good destination is the waterfall. My GPS had the out and back hike at 6.8 miles, with 1,000 feet of elevation gain. You walk up a canyon into the mountains. Do this hike, you won't be sorry.

This is the current Wallow Lake East Moraine Trial as determined by the City of Joseph. (2017, cite: https://www.wallowalandtrust.org/images/stories/land_protection/East-Moraine-Trails-Plan_draft.pdf). The first few hundred feet are killer on the quads as the trail boldly takes you straight up the moraine incline. As of August 2017 there was no specifically determined trail up the incline from the trailhead. We made our own switchbacks, being careful not to further erode any worn spots. Poles were mighty helpful, and certainly so coming down! Once you crest the moraine, the remaining incline is fairly gentle and allows for wonderful views of the Wallowas and Wallowa Lake. We headed up in the evening and descended westward at sunset. Very nice trail, a great scramble for kiddos, and big thanks to the City of Joseph for working to provide the public with a specific place to view the sites.

Beautiful trail for one so heavily-trafficked. Moderately strenuous incline. Switchbacks offered great views. Looking forward to to some bridge-repair allowing safe crossing to the remainder of this trail. We stopped and turned back at the waterfall. Going to have to go back!

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