East Fork Trail (Wallowa Lake Trailhead)

east fork trail aneroid roger lakes

This steep trail accesses the main destinations of Aneroid Lake and Tenderfoot Pass. Its popularity is somewhat limited because of its arduous nature, making it the perfect trail for the fit and those who enjoy a little extra tranquility.

Access it from the Wallowa Lake Trailhead by going left (follow the sign) up the old service road. After a waterfall and what seems like dozens of switchbacks you’ll come upon the pond that powers the hydro station below. Whew… you’ve made it two miles and you still aren’t actually in designated wilderness. From there on out the journey seems less severe, although you are still quickly climbing until you reach an area of big rocks that many stop at for a rest. Some consider this halfway, but you are now at the 4 mile mark and from here on out things are a little more level- not that it would matter: the scenery is breathtaking and it is full of surprises around almost every corner.

You’ll finally pass a little shallow pond called Roger Lake and in a few minutes you’ll enter above Aneroid Lake where most will finish their journey. Just before that point you’ll see a trail to the right (and possibly a sign) that directs you to several good camping areas.

If you stopped at Aneroid Lake, you’d be amply rewarded, but, if you have the time and energy you’d be truly amazed by the journey and destination to Tenderfoot Pass. This is 'High Alpine' at its finest: you'll know what it’s like ‘Living in a Postcard.’

From the pass you could summit Pete’s Point or search for seashell fossils on Dollar Ridge. Discover the tiny Jewett or Dollar Lakes or take a longer side trip to Bonny Lakes. The Tenderfoot trail connects to Polaris Pass and down to the Lakes Basin. It also connects to the Imnaha trail down to Indian Crossing.

View the Panoramas:

Harry's Mountain

On the south border border of Aneroid Meadow lays Harry's Mountain, unofficially named after one of the last true 'Mountain Men.' The Castle can be seen in the background.

Aneroid Lake

Aneroid Lake as seen from the north shore.

Dollar Lake

Tiny Dollar Lake is named after the sand dollar fossils that can be found along its shore and up on the ridge above. Wallowa Lake is off in the distance.

Jewett Lake

Jewett Lake is a fun feature to find while exploring the vast Tenderfoot Pass alpine slope. It sits below Pete's Point.

Postcard Valley

Above Aneroid Lake, the trail to Tenderfoot Pass opens into a picturesque 'Postcard Valley.' Dollar Ridge frames the background.

Roger Lake

The small Roger Lake was maintained by a population of beavers that may or may not be present. Without this keystone species, the level of the lake falls, making life impossible for fish. When present, the fishing is excellent.

Tenderfoot Pass Wildflowers

All along the trail and almost everywhere you look you'll enjoy the beauty of wildflowers that bloom in early summer (July at this elevation).

Tenderfoot Pass

At the base of Pete's Point lays Tenderfoot Pass. The Inmaha drainage can be seen in the background.

The Castle

The waterfall that cascades down out of the mountains over Aneroid Meadow. The Castle, a eroded volcanic formation, in the background.

East Fork Trail View

The East Fork Trail presents views of Wallowa Lake within the first mile.