Sawtooth Peak is a basalt dike approximately 3,500 feet north of Legore Lake in the Wallowa Mountains of northeast Oregon. It is a non-technical summit, but it is off the beaten path and is seldom visited. It is four miles one-way from the Hurricane Creek trailhead to the summit of Sawtooth Peak via the route shown on the accompanying map. This mountain can be climbed in a single day from the trailhead.
Views from the summit include the Wallowa Valley to the north, the Seven Devils Mountains in Idaho to the east, and the Wallowa Mountains to the south.
Bighorn sheep are commonly seen on Sawtooth Peak during the summer.
From the town of Enterprise, Oregon, go south on Hurricane Creek Road. Stay right (which is still Hurricane Creek Rd) at the Hurricane Grange. Drive past the Hurricane Creek campground to parking at the end of the road. The Hurricane Creek Trail starts at the parking lot. Follow Hurricane Creek Trail for approx 1/2 mile to Falls Creek trail which branches to the right. The Falls Creek trail is faint and there is a small wooden sign on a tree marking the junction. Note that the trail is steep and not extensively maintained.
The trail follows the Legore Mine branch of upper Falls Creek. Above the mine at 8,100 feet are good tents sites on a bench just south of the creek. The route proceeds up a talus chute to a meadow. From this meadow there are several potential routes to the summit.
Other approaches and routes are possible via Ruby Peak and Traverse Ridge or the trail adjacent to Lake Creek (Lake Francis trail).
The US Forest Service has a Wallowa Mountains Wilderness Area map, but the USGS Chief Joseph Mtn quadrangle map is recommended because it includes features not shown on the USFS map.
A Northwest Forest Pass is required for parking at the trailhead. These are available at most US Forest Service offices ($30 for annual pass in 2002)
Self registration (free) at the trailhead is recommended for overnight trips into the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area. (This permit is not the same as a Northwest Forest Pass.)
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
When To Climb
An ascent of Sawtooth Peak is possible throughout the year. Be prepared for snow travel in the winter.
The route includes camping on the mountain.
There is comfortable camping at Wallowa Lake near Joseph (showers, etc.). Public campground at Wallowa Lake Campground.
There is more primitive camping at the Hurricane Creek campground near the trailhead (pit toilets).
The US Forest Service has a Wallowa Mountains Visitor Center in Enterprise. (541) 426-4978