Frequently Asked Questions

The bark of a Ponderosa pine tree at the Minam River Lodge
How difficult is the hike to the Lodge?

The hike from Moss Springs Campground is considered moderate by experienced hikers in good physical condition. Hiking at a typical pace and allowing time for breaks, most people find the 8.5-mile hike takes less than four hours. The Lodge lies about 2,000 feet below the Moss Springs trailhead, with both uphill and downhill portions through mountain canyons and along the Little Minam River. If you are not an experienced hiker and/or are not in good physical condition, we recommend getting here by plane.

What should I pack?

Make sure to pack a swimsuit for a dip in the Minam River and/or our wood-fired, spring-water hot tub. The lodge supplies towels for in-room and outdoor use. Nights can be chilly even in the summer, so a jacket is a good idea. For those staying in a wall tent, warm sleepwear is recommended. Check for the most current weather. While the dress around the lodge is “wilderness comfort,” dinner dress tends to be more along the lines of “wilderness elegance.” There is certainly no dress code and you’d be fine in clean hiking clothes, but some guests enjoy the opportunity to bring a bit of style to dinner. Guests in our cabins (especially Sabai) and definitely the wall tents may find it handy to bring a headlamp or other light for the walk back to the cabin after dinner, or other nighttime missions. For those guests traveling in July, bug spray is a great addition to your bag!

Can hikers have their bags packed or carried in for them?

We recommend just carrying a light backpack. You don’t need much. Bags can be flown in from La Grande or Enterprise for the full cost of a passenger flight. Occasionally bags can be added to existing flights for $50 per 50 lbs.

Can I hike in and fly out?

The Moss Springs trailhead is about 35 minutes from the La Grande Airport and about two hours from the Enterprise Airport, so you would need to arrange to have someone ferry you or your car to the trailhead or airport (we can put you in touch with people who will help if you really want to do this).

Can I hike in and ride out?

Yes. Hikers and riders share the same trail from the Moss Springs Campground. Independent outfitters will take you on one-way rides to or from the Lodge.

How many people can sleep in a cabin?

Our cabins, wall tents and Lodge rooms generally are furnished with one queen bed and comfortably sleep one or two people. Boulder Cabin has a second queen bed in an upstairs loft, accessible by ladder. We usually can add a futon-style mattress to your Lodge room or cabin (not to the wall tents) for an additional $35 per night. While it is possible to fit two extra sleeping arrangements to a cabin or Lodge room for a total of four guests, please note that it is a very tight fit and there will not be much floor space. Arrangements for a fourth guest need to be confirmed by email to at the time of booking.

What is the cancellation policy?

Full refund, less a $100 processing fee, will be issued for cancellations received at least 60 days prior to scheduled arrival. For cancellations received 31-60 days before arrival, half of the lodging charge will be charged. For cancellations received 30 days or less before scheduled arrival, no refund will be issued. We cannot be responsible for weather, road/trail conditions, health or medical issues, or other factors beyond our control. However, if we have arranged your charter flight and we are unable to fly you into the Lodge within 24 hours of your scheduled time due to weather or other issues, we will offer you the choice of rescheduling or receiving a full refund. During wildfire season, the Lodge may be affected by air quality issues even if no fires are burning in our region. If the Air Quality Index (AQI) at our weather station is 201 or higher (“very unhealthy”) within 24 hours of your scheduled arrival, we will offer you the choice of rescheduling or receiving a full refund. The Lodge may be required to suspend operations due to wildfires or other circumstances beyond our control. In this event, we will offer you the choice of rescheduling or receiving a full refund for the unused portion of your stay. Due to the unpredictable nature of weather and natural events, and general life happenings that may occur between the time the reservation is made and the arrival date, we strongly encourage you to consider purchasing travel insurance to offset the cost of a last-minute cancellation.

Are meals included with lodging?

Meals are charged separately at check-out. Breakfast and lunch are $25, and dinner is $95. A light option is available for breakfast for $15.

Do we need to make meal reservations?

We assume you will be joining us for meals during your stay, no need to make reservations. Please let our staff know ahead of time if you will not arrive in time for dinner, which starts around 6:00 pm.

Can you accommodate food allergies?

Meals are prepared family-style, and menus are not available in advance. We can generally accommodate vegetarian, pescatarian, and gluten or dairy-free dietary needs, and some critical food allergies. If you have concerns about your dietary needs, please email us at before making your reservation.

Is the Lodge suitable for guests with severe medical conditions?

Before deciding to visit the Lodge, please consider that we are 8.5 miles from the nearest road. Airplane travel to and from the Lodge is not possible at night or in bad weather. Life-threatening emergencies generally involve a Life Flight helicopter ride (a rotor-wing base is located in La Grande). If you have a severe medical condition, the Lodge may not be the best vacation destination for you. If you are uncertain, please give us a call to discuss before making your reservation.

Can I bring my own food?

Other than trail snacks, we ask guests to refrain from bringing food to the lodge as it can quickly attract wildlife. Cooking and cooking fires are expressly prohibited anywhere on the property due to fire hazard.

Do you have a bar?

The Lodge has a full bar featuring specialty wilderness cocktails, a wine cellar emphasizing regional offerings from Oregon and nearby Walla Walla, and beer on tap from nearby Terminal Gravity Brewing. If you would like to bring your own wine, we are happy to provide bottle service for $35 per 750-ml bottle.

Do you allow dogs?

Well-behaved dogs are allowed in all accommodations except Lodge rooms for $45 per night, which includes generous portions of high-quality dog food. We will pre-authorize your credit card for any damage that your pet may cause. If your dog is inclined to scratch or chew, we recommend leaving him at home as our accommodations are equipped with delicate hand-made furniture and nice linens. Owners are required to pick up after their dogs at all times on the property. If your dog is uncomfortable with new dogs or new people, this might not be an appropriate place to bring them. Dogs are not allowed inside the Lodge. From our experience, the Lodge is not the best place to bring a dog that struggles with separation anxiety.

Do you have accommodations for horses?

We have corrals and a large pasture for our equine guests. $35 per night includes feedings of weed-free hay, or your horse can graze on native meadow grass. If you are bringing a horse, we require that you sign an equine liability waiver.

Do you supply fishing gear?

We do not supply fishing gear or guide services, but are happy to point you in the right direction for catch-and-release fly fishing. Please see more info on our Fishing page.

Are there wild animals at the Lodge?

The Eagle Cap Wilderness is home to a broad array of wildlife, including Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, beavers. coyotes, bobcats and cougars. Birds found along the Minam River include the peregrine falcon, bald and golden eagles, raptors, great horned owls and many species of songbirds. It is rare to see wild animals around the lodge, although you could be lucky.

What about safety?

The hike to the Lodge is relatively easy for people who are in good physical condition, but as with any wilderness adventure, you should plan carefully and be prepared. Allow plenty of time to reach the Lodge before dark. Take a printed copy of the trail directions with you as cellular phone and data service is unavailable on the trail. At the Lodge, please keep in mind that we are miles from civilization and have no road service in case of emergencies. At times, flying in or out of the Lodge may not be an option due to weather or visibility. If you have any medical conditions, make sure to bring any medications with you. We require all guests to sign a liability waiver.

What is the climate like?

Eastern Oregon is significantly drier than the rest of the state, although the weather can vary considerably. Generally summers are warm and bright, with high temperatures in the 70s, 80s, and into the 90s. Nights and mornings can be cool, with lows in the 40s. Spring showers and summer thunderstorms are common. Be sure to check our Map & Weather page for the latest forecast. The Lodge is at 3,600 feet, which can take a day or two to get used to for some people.

Do you offer a la carte meals for people who are not guests at the Lodge?

If we have room, we welcome a limited number of hikers, riders and pilots to stop by for a wilderness meal. Breakfast and lunch are $25 and dinner is $95. Space is limited and advance reservations are required.

Do you have Internet?

Our satellite Internet service is extremely limited and we need to preserve it for reservations, ordering supplies and maintaining telephone service to our office. Please look forward to being “unplugged”! There is no cell reception at the Lodge or at the Moss Springs Trailhead. We do, however, have a Lodge phone which you can use to touch base with home upon your arrival. You are also welcome to give the Lodge phone number and email to petsitters, family members, etc., in case of emergency, (503) 758-5532.

Do you supply towels and toiletries?

The Lodge supplies towels, hand-made soaps, shampoo and conditioner for guests.

How many nights do you recommend?

We have a three-night minimum to keep the Lodge accessible for weekenders, but considering the travel time involved to get to the Lodge from anywhere we recommend staying longer if you can. If you would like to explore the nearby wilderness area at all, or just relax and unplug, you can easily fill a week.

Is there a number we can give those at home for emergencies?

Yes, you are welcome to leave the Lodge number: (503) 758-5532. Also, you can use the Lodge phone to make a call or send a text once you arrive. We can also relay messages sent to the email.

We see one or two nights that are open on the calendar. Can we book them?

While we can sometimes book the two-night openings that pop up between existing reservations, we do not book any one-night stays. If you'd like to book a two-night opening you see on the calendar, please email

Do you allow plane camping?

We do welcome plane camping for $100 per night. The fee includes use of property amenities. Space is limited and advance reservations are required. Please email to make arrangements at least one week in advance.

Top photograph by Evan G. Schneider