Getting Here on Foot

Two arriving hikers rest their feet on the cabin patio.

The Minam Lodge is accessible via an 8.5-mile hike from the Moss Springs Trailhead.

Hikers in reasonable shape can expect to make the trip in less than four hours. The trip in is mostly downhill; the trip out mostly up. The trail often is snow covered until June. Please email us for current trail conditions.

The hike begins at the Moss Springs Campground. To reach Moss Springs from La Grande, take exit 261 from I-84. Proceed on Highway 237 14 miles to the town of Cove. Bear right on Main Street, then take an immediate left onto French Street and in quick succession bear left on Hill Street and right on Second Street, which becomes Mill Creek Lane and eventually Forest Road 6220. Moss Springs Campground is nine miles from Cove, the last eight miles of which are mostly uphill on a gravel washboard road that dead-ends at the trailhead.

A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the campground, or self-serve day passes may be purchased on-site. Bring a pen and a check or exact change; fees are $5 per night. Visitors must also fill out a Wilderness Visitors Permit (no fee) using the permit box at the trailhead. There are outhouses at Moss Springs, but no running water or cell service.

We recommend printing these directions out and bringing them with you; there is no cellular service available on the trail.

Hiking directions

  1. Horse Ranch Trail 1908 begins at the far side of the parking area.

  2. Shortly after entering the woods, bear left to stay on the Horse Ranch Trail toward Red’s Horse Ranch.

  3. The trail heads downhill through hillside meadows with vistas.

  4. After a mile it descends into fir and larch woods and crosses a creek on a wooden bridge.

  5. At 2.2 miles, the trail passes a primitive campsite by the Little Minam River.

  6. At 4.2 miles, it passes a second camping area and crosses a large wooden bridge.

  7. At the fork with the Jim White Trail on the far side of the bridge, continue left on the Horse Ranch Trail.

  8. The trail then leaves the river and heads gently uphill, eventually reaching a large twisted pine snag at 6.25 miles.

  9. At 6.4 miles, bear right toward the Minam River (a smaller trail leads left back to the Little Minam), and follow along the ridge, enjoying views across the valleys on either side.

  10. A steep descent begins, with glimpses of Red’s below.

  11. When you reach the valley floor at 7.4 miles, turn left at the gate to Red’s and proceed 0.6 miles to the Minam Lodge.

Download map (PDF, 364KB)

Top photograph by Leon Werdinger