West and East Fork Wallowa River Trails.
The West and East Fork trails act as major access routes to the alpine Lakes Basin within the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Located at the end of highway 82 in Wallowa Lake, these two trails receive heavy use by stock and hikers alike. As popular day hikes, these two trails provide magnificent views of the surrounding peaks and valleys as they parallel the two forks of the Wallowa River, emptying finally into the stunning glacier-formed Wallowa Lake.
Beginning with an impromptu schedule change, the crew spent a day on the lower West Fork trail, jack hammering obtrusive rock from the trail to improve tread. From there, the crew moved up trail, packing in 3 miles to the junction of the Ice Lake Trail.
The team worked the upper stretches mainly, to log out and widen the trail corridor. As the team moved up trail, they improved drainages as well, working all the way to Six Mile Meadow.
After the West Fork was cleared, the team packed out and moved one mile up the East Fork Wallowa trail, with the intent of logging out and widening the trail corridor. However, after only 2.5 miles, the snow became too deep to continue. Logging out what was possible, the team then continued to brush out the lower portions of trail.
In total, the crew cleared 31 obstructing trees from the two trails, reworked about 35 drainages, and brushed approximately 4 miles of trail. The East Fork trail will be returned to during hitch three, when the snow has hopefully cleared.
-until next time, Heidi