Of all the paths into Oregon’s legendary Wallowa Mountains (there are no shortcuts), none is quite so jaw-dropping as this route through the southeast section of the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The landscape here feels like the love child of California’s Sierra Nevada and the Swiss Alps. A lengthy, secluded trek leads hikers up into a high-altitude wonderland of white granite, culminating with unbound panoramas of craggy, snow-covered peaks at the summit of Eagle Cap Mountain (9,572 feet) and the deeply turquoise, mirrored surface of Glacier Lake—one of the most spectacular sights in the state.

DIRECTIONS: From OR 203 south of Medical Springs, turn east onto FR 70. Continue 1.7 miles, turn left onto FR 67. After 13 miles, turn left onto FR 77 (past the campground). Drive six miles, turn left onto FR 7745, and continue 5.3 miles to its end at the East Eagle Trailhead, Northwest Forest Pass required.

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39 miles