Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wallowa Mtns Backpacking Trip

This was a 3 day trip in the middle of September that I've been hemming & hawing about including on the blog. Tall D and I had planned two backpacking trips for September, but since the boys thru-hiked the JMT mid August & Reg D had a 10 day bike trip for the coast scheduled, Tall D and I just did a long day trip around Olympic National Park and then pulled-off a 3 day backpacking trip in the Wallowa Mtns. The Wallowas trip itself was absolutely beautiful, the hiking went really well (about 10-12 miles per day), the camp sites were perfect, the lake views were stunning, and the handful of people we met on trail were super friendly. Hands down both of the backpacking trips from this last summer restored my faith in the backpacking experience and made me excited for the trips to come in future outings with various people.

The Wallowa Mtns are an area in Eastern Oregon that are absolutely stunning and I'm really glad the trip was able to go ahead as planned this summer/fall. The changing of the seasons was a great time to go also as the leaves were vivid and the temperature was neither too hot in the day nor too cold at night. And also I have to give it up to the guys for their homemade dehydrated camp food--it was some of the best dehydrated food I've had yet.

Anna & I starting up the trail on Day 1. We got started about noon due to a variety of funny events that unfolded in the morning and after getting breakfast at a cute lil place in the town of Joseph. We'd "camped" at the actual campground outside of Joseph the night before (meaning we put the seats in my SUV down and slept in the back of my rig...until the dogs noticed the squirrels taunting them from the trees above... :) I slept great....Tall D not so much)

Six Mile Meadow

The trail was a mix of meadows, trees, lake views, & rocky climbs

Tall D & the dogs checking the map during break time

The view pre and during sunset from Night 1 Campsite at Horseshoe Lake. I was able to bath down trail in the lake, the stars were out for full gazing, & we spent a lot of time sitting next to a blazing fire and drinking hot chocolate.

One of the most beautiful reflections from Day 2: 

There were lots of great lakes to explore on Day 2, so we did a side trip up to another lake where we ate lunch and chilled out for a little bit. Post lunch we went up Glacier Pass...

From the top of Glacier Pass...so glad to have made it :)

Looking down on Glacier Lake from the top of the pass.

Look at that water!! We hung out here at Glacier Lake for a bit and debating camping here or carrying on to Frazier Lake. The beautiful water was freezing however so we decided to head down to lower elevation again (plus we had two potential return options for Day 3 to decide on so we wanted to get further down trail).

Tall D leading the way.

Campsite Night 2. We made it to camp and had just enough time to make food (spinach pasta w home dehydrated sauce--amazing!), filter more water, get the tent ready, etc before night fell. It took me a while to fall asleep this night and Tall D read some of his sci-fi book aloud while I watched the stars over ahead. It was a pretty amazing night....and the day had been pretty incredible too.

Day 3 included more rocky paths and winding along gorgeous river views before looping back to Six Mile Meadow.
Some of the gorgeous fall views : 

When we made it back to the car early to mid afternoon, we both felt in pretty good shape. There was a bathroom next to the trailhead, so I grabbed some cleaner clothes to change and washed off as much of the trail dust as I could. Then we started on the gorgeous drive back to Portland, hitting up some great food options that we'd seen from Travel Oregon's Instagram Feed :)

Beautiful farm views as we headed toward Enterprise to grab beers & amazing steak bites from Terminal Gravity Brewery. From there we went on to Lostine Tavern in Lostine---absolutely amazing food and great establishment. The drive back to Portland was just as beautiful with an amazing sunset as we went over Cabbage Hill. 

Seriously beautiful, incredible trip. If you live in Oregon and have never been, I would highly highly recommend it! So many people visit Oregon for it's Willamette Valley, but if you're an outdoor lover then definitely check out the various other parts of the state also :)


  1. Wow, those photos are so beautiful! What an awesome trip. You are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the nation!

    1. Just another reason for you to come visit the rest of the state! :)