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Wallowa-Whitman National Forest – Volunteer Vacations 2021

July 24, 2021 - August 1, 2021

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Join our 2021 trip as we head for the spectacular Maxwell Lake nested high in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. We’ll depart the Maxwell Lake Trailhead along the Lostine Wild and Scenic River and backpack into the basin that holds this alpine gem. Pack stock will carry all food and group gear, giving us time for a 4-mile hike into base camp. The trail provides spectacular views of the Lostine River drainage and Hurricane Divide to the east. As the trail ascends towards the lake views of the Eagle Cap Peak can be seen to the south-east. Our camp for the week is located just below Maxwell Lake. We’ll be located just off-trail nestled in a high alpine meadow between the towering spires of Flagstaff Point and Elkhorn Peak. Views abound from this incredibly scenic location! Work will include restoration of rehabilitating camp sites and user created trails around the lake, the rehabilitation of an old search and rescue helicopter landing zone (includes piling and potential burning of old cut trees and stumps) and trail maintenance (building check dams, drain dips, water bars; brushing; possible light log-out).



Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
88401 Hwy. 82, Enterpise, Oregon 97828



Backpacking 4 miles to basecamp (Day hiking up to 1 miles each work day)

Project Rating


Minimum Volunteer Age


Maximum Group Size


Area and Attractions

The spectacular Eagle Cap Wilderness takes in most of the high country in the remote Wallowa Mountains of NE Oregon. The largest wilderness area in the State, The Eagle Cap encompasses over 350,000 acres of breathtaking mountain scenery. You'll find 52 glacial lakes, 4 wild and scenic rivers, and over 500 miles of trail in this rugged area. Our base camp for the week is located just below tree line, affording great views of creek-side meadows full of high alpine wildflowers framed by granite slopes. Elk, deer, and bighorn sheep are common in this part of the wilderness. If we're lucky, we may hear wolves howl! While the trail officially ends at Maxwell Lake, there are ample opportunities for various recreation and relaxation from there. If you aren't worn out from the work on the layover day, climbing the ridge behind Maxwell Lake affords you spectacular views of North Minam Meadows and some of the lakes and peaks in the Minam and Lostine drainages - a cross country hike/scramble can get you to various high points on the continuous ridge. Fishing for eastern brook trout is a favorite pastime at Maxwell Lake as well as nearby Catched Two Lake.

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will camp in primitive tent sites near Maxwell Lake. This is a remote wilderness camp site with no traditional amenities, but scenery galore! Group cooking gear includes rain flies, 4-burner cook stove, (2) roll-a-tables, coolers and miscellaneous other supplies. Volunteers should bring their own tent, sleeping bag/sleeping pad, cup/bowl/mug/eating utensils, water filtration system, and personal gear.


Airport Pickup Provided from Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport. Airport pickup and dropoff times will be sent to registrants when the trip is confirmed.