Wilderness Volunteers: 2017 Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (Oregon)
At nearly 360,000 acres, the Eagle Cap Wilderness in northeast Oregon is the state's largest designated Wilderness Area. It includes the heart of the Wallowa Mountains, once home to the Nez Perce people. It also qualifies as the state's largest continuous alpine area and encompasses Legore Lake, at 8,880 feet the highest lake above sea level in the state. Approximately 534 miles of trails provide myriad opportunities to travel this area by foot. This vast mountain lake region is surrounded by open meadows, bare granite peaks and ridges, and classical U-shaped glacial valleys thickly forested in their lower sections and rising to scattered stands of alpine timber. Elevations start at about 3,000 feet and top out at 9,845 feet on Sacajawea Peak. Many fish species can be found in the miles of streams and rivers, and forest wildlife such as elk, deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, black bears, bobcats, and mountain lions roam this wilderness.
The Wilderness Volunteers group backpacked about four miles, from the Tenderfoot trailhead to our basecamp, just outside beautiful Bonny Lake. The campsite was tucked in the wilderness surrounded by snow-capped peaks and located in a beautiful meadow. Project tasks included a significant amount of crosscut log removal, restoration of trail segments, installing erosion control structures and brushing.