On the north side of the Wallowa Mountains is Hurricane Creek

A characteristic of the Wallowas is their abundance of water: creeks, streams, waterfalls, seeps, soggy meadows, bogs, springs -- and that rarity anywhere else in Eastern Oregon, genuine year-round rivers with pure waters and high volumes. So it's not surprising that a challenge of the area can be creek-fording, especially during the first half of summer when the snows are still melting out. That river water is ice cold, and the current is quite strong. A slip and fall here can not only hurt the body, but could easily destroy your digital camera or binoculars.

And on the south end of the Range, welcome to the Eagle Creek area of the Wallowa Mountains

Arrow Lake 7827 ft.

The mountain kingdom of Eagle Creek lies on the opposite side of the mighty Wallowa range from Hurricane Creek, far from the tourist meccas of Wallowa Lake State Park, and the bustle and art of Joseph and Enterprise. The full height of the range is not so apparent from this side of the massif, but the depth of the wilderness experience is profound.

Eagle Creek is one of the largest rivers emerging from the central nexus of Eagle Cap Wilderness in far Eastern OregonEverywhere there was the sound of water. I was especially struck by the clarity and purity of the abundant waters, and found the expanses of brillant, coarse granite gravels along main Eagle Creek to be reminescent of tropical white sand beaches.

The droppings of Rocky Mountain Elk were abundant in the fields of paintbrush and false hellebore near Two Color Guard Station (US Forest Service).


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