The eastern Oregon and western Idaho region is a great place to hike and backpack, with high mountain peaks and desert canyons; with spectacular wilderness areas, like the Eagle Cap Wilderness, the Sawtooth mountains, Strawberry Mountain and the Seven Devils mountains; and without crowds, if you know where and when to go.

 

The links listed below provide useful information about hiking in my favorite places in this distinctive region of the Pacific Northwest. Most of these links are not mine, so I claim no credit! If you want shorter hikes in less well known locations, check out the links under “Other local hikes of interest.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking in Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho

Eastern Oregon
Steens Mountain


Monument Rock
Monument Rock Wilderness, near Unity, Oregon. Map. Very popular with deer and elk hunters in the fall.
Strawberry Mountain
Malheur National Forest-(Wildernet), Strawberry Mountain Wilderness,  USFS trail info. Map. The most popular spot is Strawberry Lake. Hiking to the summit of Strawberry Mountain is a good side trip (photo).


North Fork John Day/Elkhorn Mountains
Expect to see lots of day hikers around Anthony Lakes and other nearby lakes on summer weekends.


Eagle Cap Wilderness
This is my favorite wilderness area.The most popular hikes are to the Lakes Basin from the East Lostine, Hurricane Creek and West Wallowa River trailheads. The summit of Eagle Cap is a popular side trip. To avoid crowds, use the southern trailheads near Union, Cove or Halfway, such as West Eagle and Main Eagle.


Leslie Gulch/Succor Creek
Most people just drive through Leslie Gulch; you won't find many hikers, except for deer hunters in the fall. The canyons of Leslie Gulch are well worth exploring. Look for bighorn sheep.
The canyon country north of Leslie Gulch includes the colorful Honeycombs area (Photo) (Oregon Field Guide Video), Painted Canyon and Carlton Canyon, accessible either by rough dirt roads or by boat from Lake Owyhee. Get directions from the Vale BLM District officeHoneycombs Map. (Thanks to Clint Shock of the Malheur Experiment Station for the many canyon pictures!)




Hells Canyon
Hells Canyon. Hiking Trails (USFS site). The hike from Pittsburg Landing to the campsites at Kirkwood Ranch is popular on spring weekends (photo). Scenic Byway. Map.


Western Idaho
Seven Devils
Seven Devils Mountains (Backpacker.com) or GORP. Trails.  Map. The Seven Lakes Basin is popular.
Payette National Forest


Frank Church


Sawtooths
The Alice-Toxaway Lake Loop trail is popular, and the campsites around Alice Lake, Sawtooth Lake (photo) and Hellroaring Lake are crowded on July and August weekends.

White Cloud Peaks
White Clouds. The White Cloud range is accessible only by dirt roads. Several lakes, such as Fourth of July Lake and Washington Lake (photo), are visited by day hikers, but the most spectacular trips require a minimum of a weekend or more, including Chamberlain Basin, Boulder Chain Lakes, and Big Boulder Lakes  (PDF Map).


Sun Valley Area

Owyhee Desert
Owyhee Canyonlands. Jump Creek Falls-(PDF Map)- (Topo Map). Owyhee Uplands Byway (PDF Map). Owyhee Panoramic Photos. Map. The trail to Jump Creek Falls is an easy walk along a stream and is popular in the spring (photo).


Boise National Forest
Boise National Forest (GORP). Backpacking and Day Hiking Trails. The short trails near Shafer Butte/Mores Mountain (photo) are popular.

Favorite hiking places in eastern Oregon/western Idaho

 

Other local hikes of interest:

 

Outdoor links for Oregon, Idaho and elsewhere:

Idaho:

 

Oregon:

 

 

 

 

 

Northwest and beyond:

 

 

 

Questions or Comments? Email Larry Sullivan.

More pictures from my photo gallery.

Google hiking map