Minam Lake

  • Difficult (to Minam Lake)
  • 11.6 miles round trip
  • 1800 feet elevation gain
  • Open mid-July through October
  • Use: hikers, horses

  • Difficult (to Blue Lake)
  • 15 miles round trip
  • 2150 feet elevation gain

A range of white sawtooth crags looms above the wildflower meadows where Minam Lake spills into the West Lostine River. The scene is just pretty enough to help you forget the long, steep, dusty trail you’ve just hiked from the heavily used Two Pan Trailhead. To make the most of your time in this glorious high country, consider continuing around Minam Lake and up another 0.9 mile to Blue Lake, a smaller pool in a cirque ringed with snowy cliffs.

Start by driving …

Minam Lake used to be the headwaters of the Minam River, not the Lostine. If you continue 0.8 mile to the far end of the lake you’ll discover an old, grassy dam built by early Wallowa County irrigators. This earth dike is only 15 feet tall, but it sufficed to send the lake spilling north instead of south. If you’re headed for Blue Lake, walk across the dam and continue 0.9 mile to trail’s end.

Other Options

If you’re out for a 2- or 3-day backpack, try the spectacular …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon.