Van Patten Lake Trail #1634


Man and woman hiking with their dogs up mountain trail to Van Patten Lake

The Van Patten Lake Trail (#1634) is a short popular trail off the Elkhorn Scenic Byway to one of the small lakes in the Elkhorn Mountains. The trail is accessible from the upper and lower Van Patten Lake Trailheads.

Trail users going to Van Patten Lake will begin the trek from the lower trailhead and hike about 1 mile up Forest Road 131. This rough road is rocky with washouts and gullies. Although it is open to 4x4 vehicles it is unsuitable for passenger cars and low-clearance vehicles. At the end of Forest Road 131, the foot trail begins for about 1/2 mile to the lake.

Along the way hikers and horseback riders can enjoy views of the North Powder River Valley, and Wallowa Mountains as they cross through pine forests, and open subalpine grassy meadows.   Van Patten Lake has a small dam on site as it is used for off-Forest agricultural irrigation.  Several small unimproved campsites are found on the west side fo the lake.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Current Conditions
Reservations: This site is not reservable.
Area Amenities: Parking
Fees: No fees required.
Open Season: May-June
Usage: Light-Medium
Best Season: July- September
Busiest Season: August
Restrictions: General rules of use and restrictions apply for use at the Van Patten Lake Trailhead. Specific Forest Orders apply to the Van Patten Lake Trail #1634. This includes Forest Order 234 which prohibits all motorized use from the upper trailhead located at the end of Forest Road 131 to the lake (exceptions include snowmobile use with 12 inches of snow on the trail). Motorized use is allowed from the lower trailhead near the Little Alps sand shed on Forest Road 031/031 road to the upper trailhead parking area.
Closest Towns:  Baker City, Oregon (33 miles); LaGrande, Oregon (43 miles)
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Whitman Ranger District

General Information

Directions:

From Baker City, OR head north on Highway 30 toward Haines approximately 10 miles; In Haines turn left and follow the Anthony Lake Highway signs (turns into Forest Road 73) for 20 miles to Forest Road 730; ; Turn left on Forest Road 130 and go 0.2 miles up to lower trailhead near the Little Alps sand shed; From the lower trailhead hike about 1 mile up Forest Road 131 to the upper trailhead.

From La Grande, OR head south on Interstate 84 for 25 mile to exit 285 in North Powder, Oregon; In North Powder follow the ski area signs on Highway 237 for 4 miles to Ellis Road; Turn left on Ellis Road and go about 1 mile to the Anthony Lake Highway; Turn right and follow the Anthony Lake Highway (becomes Forest Road 73) for 13 miles to Forest Road 130; ; Turn left on Forest Road 130 and go 0.2 miles up to lower trailhead near the Little Alps sand shed; From the lower trailhead hike about 1 mile up Forest Road 131 to the upper trailhead.

Advisory: Forest Road 131 from the lower trailhead to the upper trailhead is a very rough, narrow and rocky road ; suitable for 4-wheel drive vehicles only. It is recommended that users in passenger cars and low clearance vehicles park at the lower site near the sand shed, and walk up Forest Road 131 to the upper trailhead.


Activities

Day Hiking

Backpacking

 Van Patten mountain lake with pine and fir trees around itRocky steep mountain road up to Van Patten Lake

Horse Riding

Amenities

Parking: 4-5 vehicles at lower trailhead with trailer turnaround

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Highlights

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
1.55 miles

  Elevation : 
6450 feet - 7420 feet