Hurricane Creek to Slick Rock
6 Miles Round Trip – Average Difficulty
Starts at the end of Hurricane Creek Road
This is one of my favorite trails in the Wallowa wilderness area. It has nice waterfalls, nice views and many alternatives for exploration. It is less than 10 miles from the Wallowa Lake Resort Office.
The trail starts at first by working its way through the forest. At ½ mile there is a side trip on the right with a sign that says "Falls Creek". This side trail goes ½ mile off the main trail and leads to a 100 foot waterfall. After the waterfall this trail continues to Legore Lake, the Sawtooth Ridge and Twin Peaks. If you decide not to take the steep trail to Legore Lake just come back to the main trail, after viewing the waterfall.
Shortly after Falls Creek turn off you will come to the crossing at Falls Creek. In low water this is an easy crossing. Otherwise look for a log to cross or wade it. The trail works its way up through the trees again providing nice views of the stream below. At 2 miles the trail will open up into a large meadow with views of the Hurricane Divide, the back of Joseph Mountain, and the face of Sacagawea Peak. In this meadow look for the waterfall that comes out of a basin to the right. This waterfall or the polished rock above the falls makes a nice side trip.
After crossing the open meadow the trail will enter forest again. Soon you will notice trails that go off to the left. These trails lead to nice camp sites along the Hurricane. The last trail on the left leads to a large camp site and the trail that leads up the Thorp Creek Basin. This is another great side trip since it leads to a large basin at the face of Sacagawea. There are several great camp sites in this basin and opportunities to view mountain goats which are very common. If you decide not to journey up Thorp Creek Basin, continue up the Hurricane Trail.
At 3 miles the trail will enter an avalanche area. The trail does three switchbacks up a side slope crossing downed trees and debris. The avalanche occurred during the winter of 2009. It came down Slick Rock Gorge filling the valley that you see to the left. The flow filled the gorge and went up the other side of the stream. Note the trees pushed over on the other side of the gorge. We hiked this May 2009 and the entire gorge was filled with debris. Though longtime local tell me this is a very common avalanche area. After taking the switchbacks and climbing over a few trees you cross a side hill with view of the gorge below. BE CAREFUL A SLIP HERE COULD BE FATAL.
Soon you will arrive at a location with a waterfall above you and the gorge below you. This is where most people have a nice lunch and turn around and go back as they came. Other options include climbing up the ridge to the right of Slick Rock Falls or continuing on to the Echo Lake Turn off.