Backpack - Lostine North Minam Loop (Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon)


Backpack - Lostine North Minam Loop (Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon)

Photo-oriented journey, nature enjoyment, exploring spectacular scenic Wallowa mountains and high lakes, leisurely to moderate pace

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Sun, Aug 13, 2017 — Sat, Aug 19, 2017
  • Seattle Backpacking Committee
  • Exploring Nature, Photography, Backpacking
  • Adults
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 36.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 7,600 ft

7:30-8am Two Pan trailhead parking, end of Lostine River Road (19 miles S of Lostine).  Recommend camping at Two Pan CG or nearby CGs (Shady, Arrow or Irondyke) in Lostine River valley, night prior to backpack.


EMAIL LEADER DIRECTLY FOR APPROVAL:   Leader approval required prior to registration.  Include in your email recent 3-7+ day backpacking experience trips, photography and/or naturalist interests for this trip, and why this trip interests you.    Email leader directly as approval link does not consistently reach the leader.

This is a 6-7-day photo-oriented backpack, with leisurely to moderate pace to allow for photography opps and nature enjoyment.     Up to 36 miles and 7600' gain, average pace 1/mile hour.   If you prefer a faster-paced backpack, this is not the backpack for you and you should choose a different trip.

Multiple stream crossings are expected (W. Lostine, Copper Creek, Minam), including fords of mid-calf to knee with wading shoes/sandals and trekking poles advised.  May be lingering patches of snow along trail at 8000' level as of 8-3.

Naturalist opportunities include subalpine and alpine wildflowers, other flora, butterflies, birds, small to large mammals, interesting geology,  and more.  Our route will take us through some of Wallowa's best terrain for viewing great  diversity of wildflowers and other plants in varied habitats from wet meadows, to forests and drier rocky alpine, from 5200' to 8400'.

Recommended topo:  Green Trails Wallowa Mountains - Eagle Cap Wilderness, OR (map  4755X)

Estimated drive time/mileage from Seattle WA to Lostine, OR:  6.5 hrs highway travel (+ 19 miles/.75 hrs Lostine River Rd to Two Pan TH) via I-90 East from Seattle to US-97 (exit 110), I-82 S into Oregon, I-84 east to LaGrande (exit 261/Wallowa Lk), OR-82/Island Ave (follow signs toward Wallowa Lk) to Lostine.  Rt turn at I-82 curve in Lostine  (before Blue Banana expresso)  onto Lostine River Rd.   Blue Banana view at

PLANNED ITINERARY, 4.2 - 8 miles/day, moderate elev. changes, 12+ lakes and tarns.             

 --DAY 1 (trail 1670 & 1656):  Shuttle cars 4.3 mi, at least 1 at each trailhead, Bowman and Two Pan.  Two Pan trailhead 5600', West Lostine trail, ford West Lostine River and Copper Crk, Copper Crk Meadows camp 7200' (4.5-5.4 mi, +1600-1700');                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   --DAY 2 (trail 1656 & 1675): Copper Crk Meadows, Sky Lake, 8400' pass high point, Swamp Lake camp 7837' (5.1 mi, + 1300'  -480')

 --DAY 3 (trail 1675): Swamp Lake, Steamboat Lake, North Minam River, North Minam Meadows camp 5420' (6.5 mi, -2500');

 --DAY 4 (trail 1675 & 1651): North Minam camp, Wilson Meadow, Lapover Lake, John Henry Lake camp 7168' (4.4mi, +1810' -72');

 --DAY 5 (trail 1651 & 1659): John Henry Lake, 7800' pass, Brownie Basin meadows, camp at Laverty Lakes 7500' or Chimney Lake 7600' (3.5-4.1mi, +810' -540').  Option for 1-2 nights at camp, with DAY 5/one-night camp including 3-5.6 mi RT hike from camp to 8080' pass, tarn, Hobo Lake 8369' and return to camp; OR DAY 5-6/two-night camp including same day hike with option to add 2.2 mi RT to Wood Lake 7332' ; 

--DAY 6 (trail 1659), 2 nights at camp: day hike from Laverty/Chimney Lake camp to 8080' pass, Hobo Lake 8369', "I" tarn, option to add 2.2 mi RT to Wood Lake 7332', return to camp  (4.4-7.8 mi RT).                                                                                             

--DAY 6 or 7 (final day), (trail 1659 & 1651): Laverty/Chimney Lake, Brownie Basin, Bowman Creek falls, Bowman trailhead  5280' (4.2-4.9 mi, -2320').  If no car shuttled on day 1, add 4.3mi, +320' hike along road to Two Pan trailhead. 

NOTE:  Adverse weather or group preference (#camp locations/nights) may shorten trip to 5-6 days, ending at Bowman trailhead.

 Link to Laverty and Chimney Lakes trip report with photos:

 Links to detailed trail descriptions at Hiking from Here:

See links to specific trails:  1670 W Fork Lostine (Two Pan trailhead to W Lostine crossing), 1656 Copper Creek (incl Elkhorn Basin),  1675 North Minam River (from pass above Elkhorn Basin to Minam Meadows), 1651 Bowman Trail (N Minam Meadows to Bowman trailhead), 1659 Chimney and Hobo Lakes 








West Lostine River Loop

  • Green Trails Wallowa Mountains No. 475SX

    Imus Geographics Wallowa Mountains

    USGS Steamboat Lake, OR

    USGS North Minam Meadows, OR

    USGS Chief Joseph Mountain, OR

    USGS Eagle Cap, OR
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports