McCully Basin (Wallowas)

August 3-5, 2007

We beat the crowds in the Wallowas by hiking to a beautiful basin with meadows and creeks, but no lake. As a result, we were the first to camp at McCully Basin for the entire year, even though the trailhead is just seven miles from Joseph. After hiking in five miles we bushwhacked 100 yards to the meadows and camped in adjacent woods with mountain views. Gentians and other flowers bloomed by the creek. On Saturday we bushwhacked up a steepish, scenic ridge to summit Aneroid Mountain (at 9702 feet, one of the state’s tallest peaks), signed the register, then returned to camp a different way. Sunday most of us returned to the cars but a group of three continued for two more nights to Big Sheep Basin, a similarly quiet, overlooked Eden. The trip was nice enough, you can expect McCully Basin to appear in the second edition of “100 Hikes: Eastern Oregon”, due out next spring.

Hikers were members: Paul Brown, Scott Hovis, Chris Stockdale and Bill Sullivan (leader), and nonmembers: John Halpern, Janell Sorensen and Tom Warner.

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