An Oregon retreat: Surrounded by wilderness, remote lodge offers rustic luxury

Southwest Life

An Oregon retreat: Surrounded by wilderness, remote lodge offers rustic luxury

Much of the Wallowa Mountains, known as “the Alps of Oregon,” are in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.
The view during the second day of a five-day backpack to Minam River Lodge. The lodge is located in a designated wilderness area within Oregon’s 2.3-million-acre Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
Diners at the lodge are served their meals family-style.
Logs salvaged from the original lodge were used to build the new cabins.
If you go

Minam River LodgeEagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Lostine, Oregon
minam-lodge.com
This remote lodge near the Minam River in the Eagle Cap Wilderness is only accessible by charter flight, foot or horseback ride and offers log cabins, lodge rooms and “glamping” wall tents. The lodge’s 2019 guest season runs May 24 through Oct. 14. Rates for wall tents start at $195, lodge rooms start at $245 and cabins start at $395. There is a two-night minimum stay. Closest commercial airports are Eastern Oregon Regional (Pacific time) and in Pasco, Washington. (PSC). Well-behaved dogs are allowed for $25 per night.
Dispersed Eagle Cap Wilderness CampingWallowa-Whitman National Forest/Wallowa Mountains Office
201 E. Second St., Joseph, Oregon
fs.usda.gov/main/wallowa-whitman/home
Camping is allowed in most areas in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. There are flat areas in the area around Red’s Horse Ranch, about one mile from Minam Lodge. Note that this is backcountry camping, where there are no official campsites, campgrounds, or amenities, including bathrooms, running water or showers. Free.
What to doHike from Wallowa Lake TrailheadWallowa-Whitman National Forest/Wallowa Mountains Office
201 E. Second St., Joseph, Oregon
fs.usda.gov/main/wallowa-whitman/home
A long way to Minam Lodge includes many of the Eagle Cap Wilderness’s most scenic spots, like Ice Lake, the Matterhorn, Swamp Lake and Minam Lake. This route is about 65 miles and requires backcountry camping along the way. Every group visiting the Eagle Cap Wilderness must obtain a self-issued Wilderness Visitor Permit, which is available at registration/permit boxes at each trailhead. Free.
Hike from Moss Springs TrailheadWallowa-Whitman National Forest/Wallowa Mountains Office
201 E. Second St., Joseph, Oregon
fs.usda.gov/main/wallowa-whitman/home
The easiest and least expensive way to get to the Minam Lodge is to hike 8.5 miles from this trailhead 26 miles east of La Grande. The hike is free, but a Northwest Forest Pass ($30 annually) is needed to park at this trailhead. Passes may be purchased at the Joseph Ranger district Office or online at discovernw.org.
Ride from Moss Springs TrailheadEagle Cap Wilderness Outfitters
Hurricane Creek Road, Enterprise, Oregon
eaglecapwildernessoutfitters.com
Minam River Lodge partners with Eagle Cap Wilderness Outfitters to bring guests to the lodge on horseback. The easy- to moderate-ride from the Moss Springs Trailhead takes a half-day. Rates between $100 and $170 depending on group size and how much luggage the horse will carry.
Red’s Horse RanchWallowa-Whitman National Forest/Wallowa Mountains Office
Forest Service Office: 201 East Second St. Joseph, Oregon
541-426-5546
facebook.com/RedsHorseRanch
Hike one mile from Minam River Lodge to this historical dude ranch on the Minam River now owned by the U.S. Forest Service and maintained and staffed by volunteers who rotate on a weekly basis from April through November. Some volunteers bake cookies or make lemonade to share with visitors; all love to talk about Red’s history and give ranch tours. Some of the buildings date to 1918. It is not possible to stay at Red’s but there are flat camping spots nearby. Free.
Informationtraveloregon.com/places-to-go/regions/eastern-oregon/

An Oregon retreat: Surrounded by wilderness, remote lodge offers rustic luxury

Much of the Wallowa Mountains, known as “the Alps of Oregon,” are in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.
The view during the second day of a five-day backpack to Minam River Lodge. The lodge is located in a designated wilderness area within Oregon’s 2.3-million-acre Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
Diners at the lodge are served their meals family-style.
Logs salvaged from the original lodge were used to build the new cabins.
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