The United States Congress designated the Eagle Cap Wilderness (map
) in 1964 and it now has a total of 359,991 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Oregon
and is managed by the Forest Service.
Oregon's largest Wilderness encompasses the heart of the Wallowa Mountains, once home to the Nez Perce Indians. 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 visitors with opportunities to travel throughout this area.
The area is accessible by several trailheads ranging from rustic sites with low amenities and requiring high-clearance vehicles to paved trailhead parking areas with restrooms. Some of these sites require a day-use parking permit (i.e.. Northwest Forest Pass). These may be purchased on site at the fee stations or as an annual pass at local outdoor stores.
This vast region has almost 60 high alpine lakes, which are 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 near the center of the area. Thirty-one summits exceed 8,000 feet. Many fish species can be found in the miles of streams and rivers. Elk, deer, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep can be found in this area, as well as black bears, bobcats, and mountain lions.