Hike to the beautiful Ice Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness

Tom’s experience Backpacking to Ice Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness:

Ice Lake is a beautiful mountain lake surrounded by peaks in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa Mountains. Ice Lake Joseph Oregon

The lake sits at about 8000 ft above sea level and getting to it can be a little difficult due to the steep trail.

Eagle Cap Wilderness

Permits to the back country are free at the Wallowa Lake trail head near Joseph, Oregon.

Ice Lake Wallowas

The trail will follow West Fork of the Wallowa River as you climb up into the mountains. When we went there were plenty of signs and the trail was easy to follow.

Ice Lake Trail

You will eventually cross the West Fork of the Wallowa River across a bridge and start to follow Adam Creek up to Ice Lake.

Ice Lake Hike

This is where the trail really gets steep and there are numerous switchbacks. There are also a few waterfalls you can see as you hike up towards Ice Lake.

Ice Lake Oregon

Once you get to the lake there are a ton of camping spots along the south side of the Lake. Also from here you can head up towards Matterhorn Peak (9,826 ft) and Sacajawea Peak (9,838 ft).

Ice Lake Backpack

Sacajawea is the highest peak in the Wallowa Mountains with the Matterhorn being the second highest. Getting to the Matterhorn is fairly straight forward although very steep.

Matterhorn Peak

Sacajawea is a little more difficult and you must hike along very loose rock or climb over fairly easy but exposed towers.

Sacajawea Peak Eagle Cap Wilderness

The distance from the trail head to Ice Lake is about 8 miles so it can be done as a day hike or a nice backpack.

Sacajawea Peak

From the lake the mountains aren’t too far distance wise but they are very steep. Dogs are allowed in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: The trail head starts just south of Wallowa State Park. Parking is free and there are outhouses and picnic tables right near the parking. The Parking can fill up on popular weekends. Permits for the trail are at the trail head.


Wallowa Lake Trail head: 45.267683,-117.212749

Ice Lake: 45.229871,-117.272358

Matterhorn Peak: 45.228212, -117.298131

Sacajawea Peak: 45.24487,-117.292377

Similar Adventures:

Please comment below to share your experience hiking to Ice Lake or climbing Sacajawea or the Matterhorn. Don’t forget to register to receive the Travel Tom’s Newsletter by submitting your email in the bar above.

Deseret Peak Loop

Tom’s experience hiking the Deseret Peak Loop:

The Deseret Peak Loop is a great mountain hike near Salt Lake City, Utah. The route has quite a bit of variety starting in a beautiful forest and ending at a cliffy summit.
Hike Deseret Peak

It has great views of the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Flats. The elevation of the summit is 11,031 feet but it has over 5,000 feet of prominence and is the highest point in Toole County.

Deseret Peak Hike

Parking at the trailhead can fill up quickly during popular times so come early. There are outhouses at the trailhead. The trail starts out through a pretty dense forest. After about .75 miles you will cross the creek and the fork for the trail is immediately after that.

Deseret Peak Trail

There are signs and if you plan to do the loop in a clockwise fashion (the more popular way) take the left fork. From here you will head steeply up the valley along some switchbacks and make your way up to the ridge. From the ridge you keep heading up until you reach the summit. There is a survey marker at the summit. You can return the way you came or continue heading north and complete the loop.

Deseret Peak Loop

The loop isn’t recommended in the early season since it is a very steep descent and there is usually more snow on the north side than the south side. When I went in July it really wasn’t too bad other than one part with a steep glissade but it wasn’t too bad so long as you are careful.

Deseret Peak Utah

Continue down the valley until you meet back up with the trail and then you are almost back to the parking lot. Dogs are allowed on this trail.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: The parking the trailhead is at the Loop Campground. To get there take exit 99 off I-80 on Why 36. After 3 miles turn right on SR 138. Follow this 11 miles to Grantsville. Turn left on West Street near the end of Grantsville. Go 5 miles south until you see the sign for South Willow Canyon. Follow that road until the end. It will eventually turn into a dirt road but it is very level just be careful if it has rained recently.


Loop Campground Trailhead: 40.48296,-112.606443

Deseret Peak Summit: 40.45961,-112.626288

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 Please comment below to share your experience climbing Deseret Peak. Don’t forget to register to receive the Travel Tom’s Newsletter by submitting your email in the bar above.