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.

GPS:

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

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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.

Climb Gannett Peak Wyomings Tallest Mountain

Tom’s experience climbing Gannett Peak:

Gannett peak is the highest point in Wyoming and is often considered the most difficult state highpoint in the lower 48 states. Located in the Wind Rivers, Gannett is among some of the prettiest mountains I’ve ever seen.
Gannett

Getting anywhere in the Wind Rivers is difficult as there are often many steep passes between you and your destination. We approached Gannett from the West along the Pole Creek Trail.

Gannett Hike

From the Pole Creek Trailhead you will need to hike 16-18 miles to the Titcomb Basin. The trail doesn’t gain a ton of elevation overall during this stretch but it does go up and down quite a bit making the trek a little difficult.

Hiking Gannett

Our goal was to get to Titcomb on day one, summit day two and head back to the trail head on day three. Along the way to Titcomb you will pass multiple beautiful lakes but the best part is definitely Titcomb Basin.

Gannett Climb

My dad always says that the Wind Rivers has some of the best scenery in the world it just takes 15 to 20 miles until you get to it from any trailhead. I have found that to be pretty much the case on my trips here. We set up camp at Titcomb Basin.

Climbing Gannett

If you want to camp close to Lower Titcomb Lake thats fine but will make summit day longer and more challenging. If you are concerned about time and energy on summit day you may want to camp closer to the base of Bonnie Pass.

Gannett Peak Summit

We decided to camp near Lower Titcomb so that we wouldn’t have to carry our backpacks as far in day one and three but it did make summit day more difficult. Either way there are plenty of excellent campsites all around both lakes.

Gannett Peak Bergschrund

On summit day be sure you wake up early. We left our campsite at 3:15 but we were at the far end of Titcomb. I would suggest being on the pass as early as possible so that you are hiking up ice instead of slush. You will climb up Bonnie Pass which was covered in snow and very steep. It almost appeared as a mountain itself.

Bergschrund Gannett Peak

We reached the top of Bonnie right at dawn and was able to watch the sun rise from there and got our first view of Gannett. From here we regrouped and planned out our route to the summit. The trail is mostly snow with a few rocky scrambles up Gannett. You will head around the backside of the rocks you can see from Bonnie and head towards the Bergschrund. The Bergschrund is usually the most dangerous part of the mountain. When we were climbing, there was plenty of snow and we didn’t feel like we were in too much danger. However the glaciers are very steep and ice axes and crampons are necessary.

Summit of Gannett Peak

Most groups were also roped up however we weren’t after we talked to a few groups who also thought it wasn’t necessary. The views from the summit are gorgeous and we really enjoyed our time on top. We also got cell service so it was fun sending summit photos to loved ones. We headed back down the mountain over Bonnie and back towards our tent. From the Titcomb base of Bonnie Pass to the summit of Gannett and back to the base of the Pass took us about 11 hours round trip with a few pretty decent brakes. However we passed multiple groups that took over 17 hours for the same stretch. We camped that night and headed out after a great nights rest the next day.

Gannett Peak Wyoming

Total round trip mileage was about 40 miles with total elevation gain of about 9050′. Dogs are allowed in the Wind Rivers. We were very lucky that the weather was so good for us the whole time and the snow was in such great condition.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: The trailhead starts right next to a campground and there is a ton of parking available. From Pinedale, Wyoming, head towards head towards Fremont Lake. Eventually the road will change to Skyline Drive. The road was in poor condition when we went but any vehicle should be able to make it to the trailhead. The road will turn to dirt and the trailhead is on the left right near the change to dirt. There are outhouses at the trailhead and plenty of sings to get you to the Pole Creek Trailhead.

GPS:

Pole Creek Trailhead: 43.003313,-109.751809

Titcomb Basin: 43.121159,-109.635143

Bonnie Pass: 43.163871,-109.63789

Gannett Peak Summit: 40.45961,-112.626288

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