Miners Retreat

Umatilla National Forest

Miner's Retreat is an old Forest Service cabin that allows guests to relax in the outdoors and also step back in time to when the cabin was used during the bygone gold mining days. Miner's Retreat is part of the Fremont Powerhouse complex, a hub for mining built in the early 1900s. It is one of four cabins located at the site near the town of Granite, and provides great flexibility for larger groups.

The surrounding valleys once teemed with mining activity, primarily gold. The Fremont Powerhouse was built in 1908 as an economical method for mining. Two dams were constructed at Olive Lake, and water from the lake was piped through an 8-mile wood and steel pipeline to the powerhouse to generate electricity. Homes were constructed to shelter workers who monitored the pipeline. Today, these same shelters are where visitors can stay overnight.

The cabin is uphill from the Fremont Powerhouse, flanked by Caretakers Cabin and Hilltop Hideaway. Winter access may require skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles.

Click here for a virtual tour of the area.

This cozy little cabin offers a covered front porch and features two bedrooms, a full bath with hot and cold running water (during the summer months only) and a kitchen and living room. The cabin has electric lights throughout and is heated with electric wall heaters.

The cabin sleeps up to six and is fully furnished with beds, a couch and a table with chairs. The kitchen is equipped with an electric stove and oven, refrigerator and a variety of utensils, such as skillets, a coffee pot, glasses, cups, dishes and silverware. Cleaning supplies are also provided. Guests must bring sleeping bags or bedding, a flashlight, first aid kit, washcloths, towels and dish soap, among other general camping supplies. Click here for more cabin details.

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Natural Features

The cabin sits at an elevation of about 5,000 feet, on a hillside overlooking the expansive Umatilla National Forest near the North Fork John Day Wilderness. A grassy lawn in front leads to the other three cabins in the area. The forest lies in the Blue Mountains and is home to Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir.

Birds in the area include the black-backed woodpecker, American kestrel and the Boreal owl. Black bear, elk and deer are among the native land mammals. Click here to learn about bear safety.

Nearby Attractions

The cabin is located less than 6 miles from Granite, Oregon, a ghost town that once bustled with prospectors and pioneers. The town provides groceries and fuel.

Recreation

Guests can hike on trails into the North Fork John Day Wilderness or go mountain biking on forest roads. A drive along the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway is a treat, as are other activities like huckleberry and mushroom picking, bird watching, wildlife viewing and photographing the vast landscape. Nearby Olive Lake offers boating, fishing and swimming.

Contact Information

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P.O. BOX 158 UKIAH OR 97880

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 541-427-3231

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

From Pendleton, Oregon: Travel south on Highway 395 for 50 miles to the Ukiah exit. Turn left on Highway 244 to Ukiah. Turn right (south) just before the city park; this road becomes Forest Service Road (FSR) 52 at the Forest boundary. Travel 50 miles to the small town of Granite. From Granite go west on County Road 24 for approximately 6 miles. The main road veers left along the creek bed. At this junction turn right (uphill) on FSR 10 and follow the signs to the Fremont Powerhouse, towards Fremont Congo Gulch Cabin. Do not use between October and June without confirming this route is open with the Ranger District. From Baker City, Oregon: Travel west on Highway 7 and continue 20 miles to the junction with FSR 73. Proceed north through Sumpter and another 17 miles to the small town of Granite. From Granite go west on County Road 24 for approximately 6 miles. The main road veers left along the creek bed. At this junction turn right (uphill) on FSR 10 and follow the signs to the Fremont Powerhouse, towards Fremont Congo Gulch Cabin. This route is plowed in the winter and provides the only winter access.

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