West Fork to Ice Lake (Wallowa Lake Trailhead)

ice lake trail

Ice Lake is one of the most outstanding and loved locations in the Eagle Cap. Even though the location is just under 8 miles from the Wallowa Lake Trailhead, the last 5 miles involves numerous switchbacks over rocky ground and gains 2350’ in elevation. The trail climbs, unbelievably, right up a rockslide and up through sub-alpine into alpine, making the journey both beautiful and interesting as well. As you climb to the top, a large waterfall presents itself as you make the final accent into the large cirque that cradles Ice Lake (el 7849’). While this strenuous journey can be made round-trip in a day, your feet will be far happier if you camp and spend a few days relaxing, fishing or exploring the many peaks that surround this unforgettable destination.

  • Check the local fishing stores for bait or dry-fly recommendations.
  • Be Well Prepared: If you stay overnight, check the weather and understand that that the mountains make their own: you can absolutely be snowed on in July.
  • Load your star chart: Stars from this location will blow you away!
  • Note to Horseback Riders: This location has almost zero forage for horses- be prepared to pack in weed-free local hay or pellets if you’re staying overnight. Also, check your horses’ shoes and pack at least one easy-boot per horse- this trail is rocky- anything less-than-perfect or older shoeing will most likely fail.

View the Ice Lake Panorama

Ice Lake Waterfall

After the switchbacks, look for this waterfall along Adam Creek.

Ice Lake Fishing

The fishing in Ice Lake varies, depending on season and timing.

Ice Lake

The beauty of Ice Lake is hard to overstate.

Evening Fishing

At 7,849 feet in elevation, Ice Lake campers can experience winter-like conditions, even in July.


Ice Lake provides the best access to the Matterhorn, elev 9,845 feet.