|John Stolting and Jeanette Scott at the West Eagle Trailhead|
The Eagle Cap Wilderness, located in the Wallowa Mountains in the Northeast corner of Oregon, is a 360,000 acre wilderness of unnamed granite peaks, glacially carved valleys, pristine lakes and alpine meadows. This is a backpacker's utopia, and we have pledged to visit annually. For this years trip I selected a loop trail in the wilderness's southwest corner, a route the Forest Service knows as the West Eagle Loop. This area sees few visitors compared to the popular northern access points. In fact we would go for 4 days with out seeing another soul.
|Jeanette packing through West Eagle Meadows|
We drove I-84 to La Grande, turning off to Union, then up Catherine Creek to West Eagle Creek where we began our trek at the trailhead at West Eagle Meadows. Starting out in mid-afternoon, we hiked only a short distance, stopping early at a streamside meadow for our first nights camp.