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  • Writer's pictureAmy Hindman

BC Creek Falls Hike

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 3 miles RT

Elevation Gain: Approx. 500 feet

Season: June-October

Location: Eagle Cap Wilderness

Notes: Bathrooms are available at the Little Alps Day Use area, which shares a parking lot with the trailhead. The trail is wide and safe, but there are some drop-offs not far from the trail; keep dogs leashed and remind your kids to stay on the trail. We never felt it was unsafe for our 5-year old.

If you're headed to Wallowa Lake, don't miss this fun day hike to BC Creek Falls! This is a family-friendly hike and a perfect way to spend a couple of hours enjoying the Wallowa Mountains.

Start at the Wallowa Lake trailhead and follow the signs for Chief Joseph Trail #1803. BC Creek Falls is not marked on the signs.

Shortly before you reach the river, you'll meet a 3-way split in the trail. The West Fork Wallowa trail is on your left. Continue on the middle trail (Chief Joseph) straight ahead. I believe the fork on the right was marked "campground" and was not on the map. We didn't explore it, but it does appear on All Trails as leading back to the Little Alps Day use area.

Less than 1/2 mile into the hike, you'll reach the first bridge crossing over the West Fork Wallowa river. The river is beautiful and this would make a great turnaround point if you're hiking with really little ones.

The rivers were really roaring in mid-June!

After crossing the river, you'll go up some switchbacks. Near the top of the switchbacks, there's a great spot for a snack break and you can catch a glimpse of Wallowa Lake through the trees.

Next stop is BC Creek Falls! We were there in June and the falls were really fast and full. This fun log bridge was newly installed in 2021 after the previous bridge was washed out. We made this our turnaround point, but if you have time I would recommending continuing a bit further- I've heard there's great views of the lake a couple hundred yards down the trail. If you're up for an adventure, you can follow the Chief Joseph Trail back to Wallowa Lake State Park. I haven't hiked it, but I've heard it's not in the best shape, so I wouldn't recommend trying it with littles.

Enjoying the beautiful mountain views on our return hike!

Getting There: Follow the highway past Wallowa Lake and park at the Wallowa Lake trailhead/Little Alps Day Use area. The road ends here, so you can't miss it! It's just a few minutes past the turn for the state park.

The trail to BC Creek falls is highlighted in yellow. We came across one trail that wasn't marked on this map and I added it in purple. We didn't hike it, but based on what I've seen on All Trails, it leads back to the Little Alps Day use area.

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