Backpack the Wallowa Mountains

The Wallowa Mountains are a hidden gem in the northeastern corner of Oregon. Rising up from the mile-deep canyon of the Snake River on the Idaho border, these peaks reach almost 10,000 feet. Eagle Cap Wilderness Area covers most of these mountains, offering great backpacking opportunities. Join us on this amazing week-long hike through the high country, complete with alpine lakes, glacier-carved valleys, lush meadows, and incredible sights. The group plans to hike 4-6 miles most days, with one 10 mile day and one rest day. Trails in the Wallowas are generally steep, but the scenery makes the effort extremely rewarding. This wilderness is one of the best kept secrets in the Pacific Northwest and looks much like the Swiss Alps! Read the detailed trip description to learn more.

EXAMPLE Itinerary:

(actual itinerary will be adjusted to the weather and group)

  • Tuesday: Arrive to campus in the morning, meet your group and collect any outdoor gear you are borrowing from College Outdoors. Eat lunch on campus, then drive about 7hrs to the Wallowa Lake State Park campground.
  • Wednesday: Hike 6-7 hours with some elevation to campsite 1, a beautiful alpine lake.
  • Thursday: Shorter day! Hike 2 hours to campsite 2, play games and explore the area.
  • Friday: Longest day! Around 10 hours of hiking with time for breaks and food, before arriving at campsite 3.
  • Saturday: Rest day, games, and chill time, explore nearby lake, stay at campsite 3.
  • Sunday: Hike about 2 hours to campsite 4, LC Night! Learn about Lewis & Clark from current students.
  • Monday: Hike 2 hours out to the trailhead and into town to reunite with other backpacking groups and the Hike & Paddle Oregon’s Alps group. Stay at the lodge for hearty food, skits, games, showers, and real beds!
  • Tuesday: Return to campus, clean up gear, move into dorms, and eat one last meal with your group!

Trip Specifics

Dates: Tuesday, Aug. 20 - Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2024

Cost: $1050. Financial aid is applied for high-need students who qualify.

Food: Gluten-Free, Vegan and non-medical specialty diets cannot be accommodated on this trip. Vegetarian diets are welcome. 

Rigor: High

Equipment & Packing List

Required Forms

These forms can be completed only after you have received a trip placement email, and are due by Tuesday, June 25th. You will need to log into your L&C Portal to complete these forms.

Waiver  Travel Plans  Equipment Request

Trip Pictures

Check out pictures from other times we’ve gone here!

And this awesome student-made video from 2018!