Northwest Lichenologists

Matterhorn Backpack Trip, Wallowa Mountains, September 2005

1 photo(s) Updated on: 23 Jun 2014
  • Photo collage by Martin Hutten.

On September 7-9, 2005, 12 NW lichenologists participated in a backpack trip to Ice Lake and the Matterhorn, the highest peak in the Wallowa Mountains, northeastern Oregon.

Because it is 9826 feet (2995 m) high, the summit made for interesting alpine lichen finds. This is the highest calcareous rock that I know of in Oregon.

We did a trip in 3 days (not counting the drive): one day from the trailhead to Ice Lake (7.5 miles, elevation gain 3300 feet). Day hiking up to the mountain top from Ice Lake added another 2000 feet up and 2 miles one way. The east side is a walk-up, but the west side has a 3000 foot marble cliff. The hike is non technical, but clearly, this is not your typical lichenologists' hike.


Sharon Baker, Rick Droker, Shelley Evans, Katie Glew, Martin Hutten, Bruce McCune, Peter Nelson, Rikke Reese Næsborg, Roger Rosentreter, Andrea Ruchty, Daphne Stone, John Villella, Melany.

Collecting sites:

Wallowa Mountains, Eagle Cap Wilderness
USA: Oregon: Wallowa County
7-9 September 2005
NW Lichenologists field trip

The following sites are in order of increasing elevation. I'm sure people collected at other places, but these are the main collecting localities that I know of. Perhaps if you collected from other spots, you could share those localities with other people who collected at the same spots.

on Populus tremuloides, forested patches in granitic talus
trail to Ice Lake
45.234 N 117.241 W
ca 1755 m
(Martin, Roger, Peter, Bruce, Rikke, Melany)

iron-rich argillite, near Adam Creek
off end of switchback along trail to Ice Lake
45.234 N 117.247 W
ca. 1900 m
(Peter, Martin, John, Daphne, Andrea, and perhaps others)

sparse Pinus albicaulis and Abies lasiocarpa forest, grassy openings, and rock outcrops and boulders (limestone, marble, granite, iron-rich argillite, and dark igneous dike)
near camp at Ice Lake
45.228 N 117.269 W
2435 m

streamlet with seepy banks, on ledge on east side of Matterhorn
45.231 N 117.290 W
2706 m
(Martin, Roger, Peter, Bruce)

iron-rich argillite, east shoulder of Matterhorn, along trail from Ice Lake
45.229 N 117.294 W
ca. 2875 m

marble and iron-rich argillite
summit of Matterhorn
45.228 N 117.299 W
2995 m

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