If solitude by a pristine lake high in the mountains sounds like your kind of adventure, check out Aneroid Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.
One of the most majestic stretches of Oregon wilds is the Eagle Cap Wilderness. It’s a stretch of high alpine lakes, deep woods and meadows tucked in the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon. This space was first protected in the 1930s, and is now currently protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964. With deep snowpack in the winter, this region is only accessible for most explorers in the summer and fall.
To reach Aneroid Lake, perched six miles above the nearby (and beautiful) Wallowa Lake, hike along East Fork Wallowa River Trail. Expect elevation gain of about 3,000 feet, and a stunning view of the snow-peaked Wallowa Mountains emerging over the valley as you ascend. If you’re taking this hike in the mid-summer, watch for a lush bounty of alpine blooms, like the rare gentian, monkey flower, and elephant's head.
Once you hit the lake, be sure to take a moment to savor the view of the icy, still waters by walking along a dock built for that purpose. In the surrounding area there are designated campgrounds, as well as a three-walled shelter equipped with a wood stove for overnight trips. However, if you’d rather descend for a warmer campground, note that the hike is an easy 12-mile there-and-back.
All visitors to the Eagle Cap Wilderness must obtain a free, self-issued Wilderness Visitor Permit, available at trailheads.