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 pleasant and generally easy for people in good physical condition. Walking 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, so expect a mostly downhill hike to the Lodge and a mostly uphill hike back out after your stay.

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.

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

You might be able to work this out with one of our independent outfitters, but we recommend just carrying a light backpack. You don't need much.

Can I hike in and fly out?

The Moss Springs trailhead is about an hour from the La Grande Airport and about two hours from the Enterprise Airport, so you would need to arrange to have someone ferry your car (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 room for an additional $35 per night.

What is the cancellation policy?

Full refund for cancellations received at least 60 days prior to scheduled arrival date. For cancellations less than 60 days from scheduled arrival, the first night of lodging will be charged.

Are meals included with lodging?

Meals are charged separately at check-out. Breakfast and lunch are $25, and dinner is $75. 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.

Can you accommodate food allergies?

Due to the constraints of our little wilderness kitchen, we are unable to prepare special meals for guests with food allergies and sensitivities. Our family-style dinners typically include five or six house-made dishes that provide guests with a variety of choices. Breakfast diners can choose between a full breakfast and a light option with house-made yogurt, granola and fresh fruit. Vegetarian guests usually find plenty at the table from our garden. If you are unable to eat one of our meals, we also offer fresh fruit, house-made cookies and locally made artisan energy bars throughout the day.

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 $30 per 750-ml bottle.

Do you allow dogs?

Well-behaved dogs are allowed in all accommodations except Lodge rooms for $25 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.

Do you have accommodations for horses?

We have corrals and a large pasture for our equine guests. $25 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 and 80s. Nights can be cool, with lows in the 40s. Summer thunderstorms are common. The Lodge is at 3,600 feet, which can take a day or two to get used to for some people.

Do you offer ala 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 $75. 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”!

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.

Top photograph by Evan G. Schneider