Eagle Cap Traverse
Eagle Cap Traverse: West Eagle to Two Pan
Trip Leader: Jay Reinhardt
30 miles, fairly strenuous
Glacial meadows, sparkling mountain lakes, craggy granite spires, spectacular views. On this trip we will traverse the Eagle Cap National Wilderness from one end to the other and experience it all. Expect perfect hiking temperatures during the day, and cold nights.
Day 1: Leave Spudnuts in Richland at 7 AM. Arrive at the Two Pan Trailhead for lunch. Hike 7 miles and 2,300’ up the East Lostine River glacial valley to the Lakes Basin where we’llcamp at Mirror Lake and have dinner.
Day 2: Hike 9 miles, up 1,800’ and down 4,000’ over Horton and Frazier Passes for spectacular views. If we are feeling energetic we may take a half mile side trail to the top of Eagle Cap for lunch and a panorama of the Wallowa Mountains. Hike through the deep forest of the Minam River valley and camp along the river.
Day 3: Follow the Main Eagle trail up the Trail Creek valley, then over a pass to Traverse Lake where we’ll camp for the night. Time to explore the subalpine terrain of the Traverse Lake cirque. This is the most strenuous day. Nine miles and 3,500’ elevation gain.
Day 4: Hike past Echo Lake and down the West Eagle Creek canyon to West Eagle Trailhead. Six miles and 1000’ feet down. Well-deserved splurge lunch at a joint along the way home. Arrive in Tri-Cities by 7 PM.
This trip will be conducted with two groups, each group starting at opposite ends of the route and exchanging car keys in the middle. Each group is led by a certified I-MAC trip leader. The group that starts at West Eagle Trailhead will hike the itinerary described above in the opposite order. Driving distance round trip is 320 miles, about 3.5 hours each way. Carpool passengers pay $48 per person for gas, etc.