Mirror Lake and Eagle Cap
Eagle Cap from a Tarn near Mirror Lake
- Moderate (to meadow crossing)
- 10.2 miles round trip
- 1500 feet elevation gain
- Open mid-July through October
- Use: hikers, horses
- Difficult (to Mirror Lake)
- 14.8 miles round trip
- 2020 feet elevation gain
- Difficult (to Eagle Cap)
- 19.6 miles round trip
- 4000 feet elevation gain
- Open late July through October
Eight valleys radiate from 9572-foot Eagle Cap, the rock hub of the Wallowa Mountains. Although Eagle Cap is not quite the tallest peak in this range, its 360-degree view is unmatched, and a surprisingly well-graded trail climbs to the summit from the East Lostine River’s meadows. If your goal’s the summit, plan on a two-day trip. If you’re out for a day hike, settle for a view of the cliff-edged peak from the Lostine meadows or Mirror Lake.
Note that group size is limited to 12 on trails and 6 in camps. Tents must be at least 100 feet from lakeshores, grazing horses must be at least 200 feet from lakes, and campfires are banned within a quarter mile of Mirror Lake.
Drive Interstate …
… Peer over a cliff to the east for a breathtaking look down at barren Glacier Lake. To the left, blue-green lakes dot the forested Lake Basin beneath the white cliffs of the Matterhorn. Still farther left, meadows roll down the barrel-shaped East Lostine River valley toward the Two Pan Trailhead where you began.
Several backpacking loops return …
This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon.