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Eagle Cap Wilderness

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A steep alpine bowl dotted with green trees, cradling two small lakes below, surrounded by white rock.
Library image #1706: Maxwell Lake


The United States Congress designated the Eagle Cap Wilderness (map) in 1964 and it now has a total of 355,548 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 trailhead 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 or online.. 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 wolves, black bears, bobcats, and mountain lions.

Planning to Visit the Eagle Cap Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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