Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This is a great area for first-time backpackers.
High elevation means heavy snow and late spring drifts that can last into the summer.
Need to Know
From La Grande, Oregon, travel south on State Highway 203 for about 14 miles to Union, Oregon. In Union, turn left on East Beakman Street and continue on Highway 203 for 14 more miles to Catherine Creek Summit. At the summit, turn left on Forest Road 77 and follow it for 15 miles until you cross West Eagle Creek and reach the campground entrance on your left side.
From Baker City, Oregon, head north on Interstate 84 for 5 miles to exit 298 (State Highway 203). Turn right off Interstate 84 to State 203 Highway and travel 18 miles to Medical Springs, Oregon. In Medical Springs, turn right on Big Creek Road and continue 1.5 miles to Forest Road 67. Turn left on Forest Road 67, and go about 14 miles to Forest Road 77. Turn left on Forest Road 77 and go about 5 miles to the campground entrance, which is on your right, before the West Eagle Creek crossing.
This trail provides access to Echo and Traverse Lakes, as well as Tombstone Lake Trail #1943
to Diamond and Tombstone Lakes. Wildlife spotting, camping, and fishing opportunities abound as you make your way up through diverse landscapes of meadows, forest, lakes, and mountains.
Hike 2.75 miles through meadows and trees. When you reach the junction of Tombstone Lake Trail #1943
, stay right. The trail gets steeper and does a lot of switchbacks as you work your way up to the basin and Echo Lake at 4.6 miles. Then, the trail skirts the lake and follows the base of the mountain around a swamp and into a high bowl containing Traverse Lake at 6.0 miles.
If two lakes are not enough for you, skirt the lake and start switchbacking your way north and right up to the ridge. Traverse well above the aptly named Traverse Lake, and follow more switchbacks to the saddle and summit where, at 7.75 miles, you'll get views to the east and west. It is all downhill from here to Trail Creek and Main Eagle Trail #1922
at 12.6 miles.
Shared By: Joseph States
by Turtle EO