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Wilderness Volunteers

Minam Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, OR (Aug 22nd - Aug 28th 2021)

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At nearly 360,000 acres, the Eagle Cap Wilderness in northeast Oregon is the state's largest designated Wilderness Area. It includes the heart of the Wallowa Mountains, once home to the Nez Perce people. It also qualifies as the state's largest continuous alpine area and encompasses Legore Lake, at 8,880 feet the highest lake above sea level in the state. Approximately 534 miles of trails provide myriad opportunities to travel this area by foot. This vast mountain lake region is surrounded by open meadows, bare granite peaks and ridges, and classical U-shaped glacial valleys thickly forested in their lower sections and rising to scattered stands of alpine timber. Elevations start at about 3,000 feet and top out at 9,845 feet on Sacajawea Peak. Many fish species can be found in the miles of streams and rivers, and forest wildlife such as elk, deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, black bears, bobcats, and mountain lions roam this wilderness.

This project will take you deep into northeast Oregon's breathtaking Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Our volunteer group will focus on the eradication of braided and social trails, as well as cleaning up trail corridors. We'll also be addressing a handful of trail maintenance tasks in the Eagle Cap Wilderness boundary. Our group will meet Saturday evening for a brief project overview and opportunity to get to know each other at a local brewpub before heading into the Wilderness via the Two Pan Trailhead on Sunday morning. We’ll be camped just north of Minam Lake, near the headwaters of the Minam and Lostine Wild and Scenic Rivers. The area contains classic northwest alpine terrain; we’ll be camped just below timberline with glacially carved granite in all directions! We’ll hike about 6 miles to our base camp location and gain approximately 1400’ in elevation (6000’-7500’). The Forest Service will use pack stock to get tools, food and group gear to camp. You’ll only need to pack your personal items for the week!

Please note: Due to COVID-19, Wilderness Volunteers is operating our 2021 project schedule under our Modified Project Procedures for Volunteers. These project guidelines will be revised as needed. Please check back often for the latest version.

We highly recommend that those coming from low elevation (anything below about 5,000 feet) plan an extra couple days in the area before the trip to acclimate to the elevation for your own safety. Altitude sickness is a concern when traveling from low elevation to high elevation and getting acclimatized before the trip is one of the easiest ways to prevent it. If you have had problems with altitude before, be sure to check with your doctor before coming. If you need ideas on things to do/see before the trip contact your leaders.

Due to additional COVID-19 precautions, we are prohibiting mixed household volunteer carpooling (with volunteers outside of the same household traveling in the same vehicle) to projects until further notice. Exceptions to this policy (eg close friends traveling together) will need to be discussed with/pre-approved by the office and will require additional precautionary steps for the individuals involved.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

This project is rated as a strenuous project.

Check out more photos from last year's Eagle Cap Wilderness service project in our photo gallery.


Aug 22nd - Aug 28th 2021

Service Project

Trail maintenance, crosscut log removal, installing erosion control structures and brushing

Agency logo

Free Days

Hiking to the top of Eagle Cap, swimming, wildflowers, photography, relaxing


Backpack camping

Project Difficulty

Strenuous : ~ 6-mile backpack with a 1400' elevation gain, bending, digging, lifting. Pack animal supported.


Ross Holloway
Tom Driscoll

Equipment List