[/caption] The Eagle Cap Wilderness is part of the Wallowa mountains in Eastern Oregon and if you’re looking for some amazing hiking trails and beautiful scenery, I would plan a trip during the summer months. The snow can last as long as July in the higher elevations, so unless you plan on bringing your snow shoes, you may want to wait until late July to Early August before having the ability to hike well into the interior of the Eagle Cap Wilderness area. The water is so abundant that you will find yourself surrounded by raging waterfalls, creeks and rivers well into late summer. And since the scenery is so diverse and overrun with colors, you may want to bring a tripod in order to avoid any blur or camera shake due to your camera sensor having a difficult time choosing a focal point. The meadows are filled with wildflowers, the mountains are craggy and millions of shadowed drop offs create lots of shade and the forest floor are teeming with green vegetation, which would cause most high elevation mountain ranges to be envious.
[/caption] The Bonneville mountains are located in the Eagle Cap wilderness and are located just east of Eagle Cap mountain. Eagle Cap mountain is actually just behind Bonneville mountain but isn’t viewable from the area where I was standing. The lake in the foreground is Aneroid lake but if you want to get a view of Eagle Cap you would pretty much have to hike back towards the Wallowa Lake trailhead and head up the Ice Lake trail. There is another hiking trail past Aneroid lake but that hike takes you towards Dollar lake and I’m not sure if you would have a very good view of Eagle Cap.
[/caption] The Wallowa Mountains are located in the northeastern part of Oregon and offer over 360,000 acres of wilderness as well as over 500 miles of scenic hiking trails. You’re literally in the middle of a huge mountain range with nothing but your legs to rely on. There are 31 peaks over 9,000 feet that covers 35 by 60 miles of rugged terrain. The mountains were formed from granite from a magma upwelling in Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous time between 160 million and 120 million years ago. However, there is only one way to describe this part of Oregon and that’s absolutely magnificent! There is no other geographic region in the lower 48 states that offer such a diverse and spectacular display of geology. There are hundreds of alpine lakes, creeks, meadows, grasslands and waterfalls throughout the region and the deepest gorge in the United States (Hells Canyon) is just a stone throws away. In fact, many of the mountains are made up of marble and you can see this near their summit and also in the meadows. You will get a feeling of Oregon’s old west with only a few small towns that are still living in the 1890’s and with good reason. The cattle industry and dude ranches fit right in with the high mountain air along with the towering mountains in the background. You also may find yourself attending one of the many rodeos that take hold during the summer months. And since it’s so isolated, you won’t have to worry about a million tourists destroying your visit. Unlike most National Parks or crowded State Parks, you will only have to deal with a small amount of tourists and wilderness seekers. Wildlife is abound throughout the area and the wildflowers are amazing along the high alpine slopes.