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Hiking in the Wallowa Mountains: America's Little Switzerland

Program Number: 20760RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/4/2013 - 8/9/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Wallowa, Oregon
Price starting at: $1,248.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: n (see description)
Meals: 13; 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt    

Called the “Alps of Oregon,” the Wallowa Mountains boast hillsides blanketed in Douglas fir, valleys thick with Engelmann spruce and lodgepole pine, and alpine meadows fed by mountain springs. Winding through this marvelous work of nature are the many trails of Eagle Cap Wilderness, tranquil roads for you to follow on hikes to learn about this serene landscape. With fellow hikers, set off from base camp each day to explore high-altitude lakes beneath towering peaks and to summit Eagle Cap for sweeping vistas of the surrounding wilderness from above 8,000 feet..




Highlights

• Join expert naturalists for hikes into the wilderness to learn about the unique ecology of this region.
• In your deluxe base camp, enjoy Dutch-oven meals and dips in mountain lakes.
• Relax around evening campfires and learn about the abundant elk, deer, mountain goats and bighorn sheep that populate this unspoiled area.



Activity Particulars

Hiking 6.5-11 miles at leisurely pace; elevation gains up to 2,000 feet. Remote base camp eight hours from medical facilities. Elevations above 8,000 feet.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Enterprise, 1 night; tent camping in the Wallowa Mountains, 4 nights; Enterprise, 1 night.



Coordinated by NW Discoveries.




Wallowa

Once a hub for the logging and lumber industry, Wallowa is nestled at the foot of the beautiful Wallowa Mountain Range in the Grande Ronde River Basin. With this idyllic location, Wallowa is known for its abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities, including camping, fishing, skiing and more.



Accommodations
Enterprise: motel with private baths. Tent camping: deluxe base camp, cots in tents with lanterns.
Meals and Lodgings
   Mingo Motel
  Wallowa 1 night
   Eagle Cap wilderness campsite
  Eagle Cap Wilderness 4 nights
 Mingo Motel
Type: Motel
  Description: You can enjoy the many outdoor activities that the snow-covered Eagle Cap Wilderness and the beautiful Wallowa Lake have to offer. Stroll through the historic towns of Joseph and Enterprise, just minutes away, with many shops and restaurants. Take a drive and loop around on the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway.
  Contact info: 102 N. Alder St.
Wallowa, OR 97885 USA
phone: 541-886-2021
web: mingomotel.com/index.htm
  Room amenities: All rooms are air-conditioned, have wireless internet service, local dial phones, cable TV, microwaves, small refrigerators, and in-room coffee.
  Facility amenities: The Mingo Motel offers clean affordable rooms and friendly hometown service.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: $100./night/room Contact Mingo Motel directly for booking rooms prior and following program.
  Check in time: 4:30 PM

 Eagle Cap wilderness campsite
Type: Tents
  Contact info: none
Wallowa, OR 97885 USA
phone: 541-398-2088
web: www.delsolwildernessadventures.com
  Room amenities: Deluxe tents setup with sleeping cots provided
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Need to use wilderness holes to use for your bathroom.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
check-in 3:00-5:30 pm You will be staying at Mingo Motel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends about 1:00 PM after lunch You will be staying at Eagle Cap wilderness campsite the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Liability Release Waivers are required to be signed for participation in this program.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at Mingo Motel, but costs $5/day at trailhead after driving 7 miles on dirt/gravel road with some washboard and depressions. Optional shuttle by our van from Motel to trailhead.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Wallowa
  Nearest city or town:  Wallowa
  Nearest airport:  Portland
  From End of Program
  Location:  Eagle Cap Wilderness
  Nearest city or town:  Wallowa
  Nearest airport:  Portland
Travel Details
 

Portland, OR

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Scholar provider
phone: 503-524-9192
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$60
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

6 hours 

 

Distance:

 

300

   

Only one time pickup from Portland, OR airport at 10:00 am on sidewalk outside of baggage claim (ground-lowest level) under Alaska/Horizon sign. Shuttle (a 15-passenger van) will arrive at time of pickup. We will arrive at Mingo Motel in Wallowa at about 4:30 pm.

 

Mingo motel

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Scholar provider
phone: 503-524-9192
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$60.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

7 hours 

 

Distance:

 

330 miles

   

A one time shuttle will depart from trailhead at ~1:00 pm to arrive at Portland, OR airport by 8:00 pm. Please make your flights to depart after 9:30 pm. Recommended to stay overnight in Portland..

 
Driving Directions
  General Directions to Lodging We recommend you put the lodging address into your GPS or vehicle navigation system or use the internet mapping websites: (ensure the mapping directions are similar to our provided instructions) http://maps.google.com/ then click on Get directions, then input your starting destination and ending destination = lodging address provided. or www.mapquest.com; then click on Get Directions, then input your starting destination and ending destination = lodging address provided. Mingo Motel 102 N Alder St, Wallowa, OR 97885 (541) 886-2021 http://mingomotel.com/ You can also visit the lodging website or call the lodging for additional directions.
  Portland, OR I-84 east to La Grande; then Hwy 82 toward Elgin/Enterprise. Upon entering town of Wallowa, turn left on N. Alder St., Mingo Motel, 102 N. Alder.
Elevation Note: All hiking days above 7000 feet with highest elevation obtained of 9,572 feet at Eagle Cap.

Equipment Requirements: Well broken in hiking boots or shoes, hiking and rain gear are recommended to fully enjoy this program. You will need a sleeping bag rated to 20 degrees F for nights that can get to freezing and a sleeping pad. You will need a large enough day/fanny pack to carry what you need for each day (water, lunch, rain gear, extra clothes). Our packer will transport your sleeping gear, night clothing and extra clothing into our base camp.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Relax in in the quiet town of Wallowa. Meet new friends and learn about the week ahead.
(Sunday, August 4)
   
 Arrive To: Check in between 3:00 - 5:30 PM at Mingo motel in Wallowa.
 Dinner: Dinner at 6:30 PM at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Program orientation and introductions/discussion until 9:00 PM. Tonight we will get to know each other as we learn about the week ahead.
   
Accommodations: Mingo Motel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Meet the Pack Horses and Hit the Trail
(Monday, August 5)

Note: Drop off your personal gear for transport by our horses to our deluxe base camp. Hike 6.4 miles, 1600’ elevation gain to a deluxe base camp. In the afternoon relax in camp along the E. Lostine River with Eagle Cap towering over the end of the valley.



   
 Breakfast: 7:00 am breakfast at local restaurant
 Morning: Meet the sure-footed pack animals that will carry our gear for the week to a wilderness base camp. Learn the traditions and details of packing a horse for the trail. Hike along the Lostine River through the gentle valley under the cover of trees until the forest thins out, offering views of the surrounding granite mountains.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Continue hiking along the Lostine River and its meadows to our deluxe base camp, already set up and waiting for our arrival.
 Dinner: Dinner at base camp is prepared by a seasoned wilderness chef from grills and dutch ovens.
 Evening: Evening campfire talk on local history.
   
Accommodations: Eagle Cap wilderness campsite
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Hike to Horseshoe Lake
(Tuesday, August 6)

Note: Hike the Lake Basin trail past several lakes. Short hike is 8 mile RT, 500' elevation gain. Long hike continues onto Horseshoe lake for additional 3 miles and 200'' elevation gain



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served at 7:30 am
 Morning: Begin hiking to Horseshoe lake (7.4 miles, RT 2000') on a trail just a few feet from the doorway of your tent. Hike at treeline through peaceful meadows and along rippling brooks. Experience breathtaking views of towering peaks mirrored in pristine alpine lakes.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Finish hiking to Horseshoe Lake, a pool with a small island and a huge reflection of a 1000-foot-tall white granite ridge.
 Dinner: Dinner at our base camp.
 Evening: Local stories and tales around the camp fire.
   
Accommodations: Eagle Cap wilderness campsite
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Views from the top of Eagle Cap, centerpiece of the Wallowa mountains, enjoy views of massive glaciated valleys radiating in all directions.
(Wednesday, August 7)

Note: Hike to the top of Eagle Cap (7.4 mile RT 2000’ elevation gain) for outstanding views of the Swiss Alps of Oregon.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served at 7:30 am.
 Morning: Hike to the top of Eagle Cap, centerpiece of the Wallowa mountains. Enjoy views of this spectacular half dome shaped mountain with vertical faces to the north and east composed of light colored granodiorite highlighted by dark basalt dikes slashing through its mass.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the trail.
 Afternoon: Descend from Eagle Cap with views of the lakes basin; a dozen shimmering alpine lakes, surrounded by a rim of ragged peaks on the horizon.
 Dinner: Dinner at our base camp, provided by our cook.
 Evening: Evening campfire.
   
Accommodations: Eagle Cap wilderness campsite
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Hike over Minam Pass to Minam Lake
(Thursday, August 8)

Note: Hike over Minam pass to Minam lake (8.4 mile RT, 1000' elevation gain). Enjoy the beautiful views of two valleys and their surrounding mountains on this hike.



   
 Breakfast: Breakast served at 7:30 am.
 Morning: Hike over Minan pass with views of the surrounding mountains before descending into the Minam Lake basin.
 Lunch: Sack lunch will be eaten on trail.
 Afternoon: Enjoy Minam Lake surrounded by wildflower meadows and beneath towering white sawtooth crags. Then return back over Minam pass to our base camp.
 Dinner: Dinner at camp prepared by our cook.
 Evening: Closing campfire.
   
Accommodations: Eagle Cap wilderness campsite
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest


Author: Robert Ruby, John Brown, Cary Collins


Description: The Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest inhabit a vast region extending from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and from California to British Columbia. For more than two decades, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest has served as a standard reference on these diverse peoples. Now, in the wake of renewed tribal self-determination, this revised edition reflects the many recent political, economic, and cultural developments shaping these Native communities. From such well-known tribes as the Nez Perces and Cayuses to lesser-known bands previously presumed extinct, this guide offers detailed descriptions, in alphabetical order, of 150 Pacific Northwest tribes. Each entry provides information on the history, location, demographics, and cultural traditions of the particular tribe. Among the new features offered here are an expanded selection of photographs, updated reading lists, and a revised pronunciation guide. While continuing to provide succinct histories of each tribe, the volume now also covers such contemporary and sometimes controversial issues as Indian gaming and NAGPRA. With its emphasis on Native voices and tribal revitalization, this new edition of the Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest is certain to be a definitive reference for many years to come.



Eden Seekers-The Settlement of Oregon 1818-1862


Author: Malcolm Clark, Jr


Description: Good summary of Oregon’s history between 1818-1862.



In Search of Ancient Oregon


Author: Ellen Morris Bishop


Description: Geology is an extremely visual subject, and In Search of Ancient Oregon is a beautifully photographed, expertly written account of Oregon's fascinating geological story. Written by a passionate and professional geologist who has spent countless hours in the field exploring and photographing the state, In Search of Ancient Oregon is a book for all those interested in Oregon's landscapes and environments. It presents fine-art-quality color photographs of well-known features such as Mount Hood, Crater Lake, Smith Rock, Steens Mountain, the Columbia River Gorge, and Cannon Beach, and scenic, not so well known places such as Jordan Craters, Leslie Gulch, Abert Rim, Hells Canyon, Elkhorn Mountains, and Three Fingered Jack. Each of the more than 220 stunning photographs is accompanied by readable text, presenting the story of how Oregon's diverse landscapes evolved — and what we may expect in the future. Until now, no book has presented this dynamic story in a way that everyone interested in Oregon's natural history can easily understand. The combination of extraordinary photographs and the author's lucid explanations make this book both unique and essential for those curious about our own contemporary landscape.



Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest


Author: Katharine Berry Judson


Description: Presented here with 52 photographs, these traditional stories, first collected in 1910, reveal myths and traditions of creation, the salmon and noted geographical features of the territory.



Northwest Exposures-A Geologic Story of the Northwest


Author: David Alt and Donald W. Hyndman


Description: Northwest Exposures chronicles the events that shaped the region's rock and landforms through the ages. The tale of the Northwest's geology began more than two billion years ago when an ancient continent split, creating oceanfront property in what is now western Idaho. Pacific islands mashed into that coastline, making large parts of Washington and Oregon. These events were followed by monstrous volcanic eruptions, catastrophic ice age floods, and mountains rising to an accompaniment of earthquakes.



The Wallowas: Coming of Age in the Wilderness


Author: William Ashworth


Description: Describes his adventures of backpacking and climbing in the Wallowa high lake district in which we will be exploring.



Wallowa Mountains: A Natural History Guide


Author: Keith Pohs


Description: Comprehensive book on the plants, geology and animals of the Wallowas.





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