By Michael Lanza

Forget for a moment where you are while hiking in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, and you might look around and mistake the sharply angled, granite peaks and crystal-clear lakes for the High Sierra. But in the Eagle Cap, which occupies a big chunk of the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon, you won’t find the Sierra’s crowds (except in a few, popular corners like the Lakes Basin on nice summer weekends) or competition for backcountry permits. Load up your backpack and explore these mountains for a long weekend or a week in summer or early fall to explore this place with a backpack.

Scroll through the photos below from my family’s five-day, 40-mile loop hike, which took in the gorgeous Lakes Basin and offers the option of tagging the 9,572-foot summit of Eagle Cap, but also included lonelier lakes and passes that are just as pretty. Then read my story about that trip, “Learning the Hard Way: Backpacking Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness,” which has more photos, a video, and plenty of info for planning the trip yourself.

See all of my stories about backpacking and about family adventures at The Big Outside.

The Big Outside is proud to partner with these sponsors. Please help support my blog by liking and following my sponsors on Facebook and other social media and telling them you appreciate their support for The Big Outside.







Wind4-016Do you like my blog? I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, and I appreciate connecting with my readers. I invite you to subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box at the top of the left sidebar or below, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.


This blog and website is my full-time job and I rely on the support of readers. If you like what you see here, please help me continue producing The Big Outside by making a donation using the Support button at the top of the left sidebar or below. Thank you for your support.