The Eagle Cap Wilderness lies in the heart of the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon on the Wallowa -Whitman National Forest. This country was first occupied by the ancestors of the Nez Perce Indian Tribe in 1400 A.D. and later the Cayuse, the Shoshone and Bannocks. The Eagle Cap Wilderness itself was used as hunting grounds for bighorn sheep and deer and to gather huckleberries. It was the summer home to the Joseph Band of the Nez Perce tribe. 1860 marked the year the first settlers moved into the Wallowa Valley.
In 1930, the Eagle Cap was established as a primitive area. It was designated as wilderness in 1940. The Wilderness Act of 1964 placed the area in the National Wilderness Preservation System. It was enlarged by 73,410 acres in 1972, and by 67,711 acres in 1984 and now totals 359,991 acres of Wilderness.
The Eagle Cap Wilderness is characterized by high alpine lakes and meadows, bare granite peaks and ridges, and U-shaped glaciated valleys. One is constantly reminded that nature operates on her own terms with her own rhythms that may not match our structural lives. Each season comes and goes bringing with it new challenges and adventures. We truly hope you will find these experiences here and carry with you a memory that will last a life time. These memories can only be left to future generations when we all take part in an effort to respect and care for wilderness. Doing your part is vital to the future of Eagle Cap. Please plan your trip carefully, know the current regulations and seek specific information from the Forest and districts.