- Your Public Lands
Oregon State Parks and Recreation
- What To Do
The campground is comprised of 22 primitive campsites with water, which are all tent and trailer friendly. Site #1 is ADA accessible.
Follow the Wallowa River and enjoy multiple picturesque fishing spots. The railroad tracks are on the other side of the river, so folks (depending on flows) cross the river and walk up or down the tracks. In addition to hatchery steelhead runs at the beginning and end of the year, the river is open for rainbow trout year round. Fishing regulations are highly specific and based on location and species. Please always consult the latest information available from the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.
- How To Get There
Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. From Walla Walla, take HWY 11 south through Milton-Freewater, OR. Travel another five miles and turn left on Winn Road. Follow this little backroad for two miles and then turn left to connect with HWY 204. Continue on HWY 204 to the town of Elgin, OR. Once you reach Elgin, take a left on South 8th Avenue and then take right on Albany Street/Wallowa Lake HWY/HWY 82. In approximately 13 miles you will arrive at Minam State Recreation Area on your left, which is just prior to crossing the bridge over the Wallowa River. The campground is two miles downstream on a well-maintained, trailer-friendly gravel road.
- When To Go
While it is super fun to watch or participate in all the rafting and kayaking happening in late spring, consider a quiet weekend of camping prior to June or a month or two after. Enjoy a walk along the river in late fall when the river is lower. River enthusiasts are still enjoying the water that time of year and it is fun to watch them set up their boats and head out on their journey.
- What To Expect
The park is located in a steep valley with the Wallowa River at times charging through. With large pine trees shading the campground and picnic area, it is a sweet spot to enjoy the river. Folks are often fishing for steelhead in the spring and fall. Other wildlife in the area include deer, bear, elk, and cougar. If pairing a weekend camping trip with getting your feet wet in the rafting world sounds appealing, the family who runs the Minam Store just two miles back down the road (just across the bridge) are beyond awesome at organizing a trip.
The fee to camp is $10 per night and $7 per extra vehicle.
No additional permits required beyond the fee for the campsite. Valid Oregon fishing license (if fishing). Fishing licenses are available online via the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife or at the Minam Store.
None other than being good stewards of the land!
There is one vault toilet and picnic tables. There is also trail access around the immediate area as well as river access. At the day use area, there is a boat launch. For forgotten supplies or guided trips down the river, visit the Minam Store.
- Wildlife Awareness
We are all so fortunate to recreate in the Blue Mountains. So many opportunities exist to play outside whether in a national forest, wilderness area, on a Wild and Scenic River, and more! With these opportunities comes great responsibility to appreciate that we are mere visitors and should all take pride in being good stewards of the wild. Many animals call these protected places home, including moose, elk, bear, cougar, bobcat, and snakes to name a few. Take precautions to respect their home and understand the appropriate response should an encounter occur. Additionally, many plant species thrive in the Blue Mountains, so staying on trail is always good practice. Carry First Aid supplies to better respond to accidents or encounters, and always let others know where the day's adventure is taking you.
- Field Notes
Navigation: Consider downloading the Avenza Map app. This app allows users to upload three maps (or unlimited with a subscription) to use offline. It can track your location offline and overlay GPS data from the phone onto the map. The vehicle use maps (for trails allowing motorized vehicles) are the easiest to use. Otherwise, Geo Tracker offers similar tracking capabilities and additional details about your adventure. If no service, Geo Tracker will at least show your location. The Blue Mountains and surrounding area offer a remote recreating experience, and knowing your location is paramount to staying safe. Always make sure to bring paper maps. Tell others where your adventure is taking you and when you expect to return.
Difficulty Level: Here is what we are thinking when we assign a difficulty level: Day Tripper--You don't have much experience in the area but want to get outside! Great for families of all ages. Adventurer--You know your way around the Blue Mountains and love a leisurely day outdoors. Mountaineer--You are ready for a challenge. Wild places excite you and sweat is the goal. Small children beware. Keep in mind some activities may apply to multiple difficulty levels based on usage.
Pets: In general, pets are allowed on a leash and under control throughout jurisdictions. The only restrictions we have encountered are around swimming areas. As a best practice, be mindful of riparian habitat in general. You never know where a precious spawning area might be located. Pack it in and pack it out applies to your furry friend as well.