Fish Lake Remount Depot - Commissary Cabin

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Fish Lake Remount Depot -- Commissary Cabin Winter

Long used by Native Americans, the Fish Lake area was an important stop for weary travelers on the Santiam Wagon Road. The Forest Service first used Fish Lake as a ranger outpost in 1905. During the 1920s, it served as the field and dispatch headquarters for the Santiam National Forest, (the predecessor of the Willamette National Forest).

The Fish Lake Historic Site is open to the public year round and two restored remount depot cabins, the Commissary Cabin and the Hall House are open to the public and available to rent for overnight stays each winter from November to early April.

These cabins were built in 1924 and are rustic, historic wood structures that include a dispatcher's cabin, a springhouse shed, a garage/woodshed and a fire hose shelter. The Commissary Cabin features a bedroom and kitchen. Guests must walk, cross-country ski or snowshoe approximately three-quarters of a mile to access the cabins from Lava Lake Sno-Park.

The cabin has a full-size bed with mattress, table with chairs, sofa, propane heating and cooking stoves, solar-powered lighting, basic cookware and kitchen utensils. An outhouse with pit toilet is located nearby. Neither cabin has water or electricity. Guests must bring their own water for drinking, cooking and washing.

Items such as bedding, lanterns or flashlights, matches, extra toilet paper, first aid supplies, trash bags, dish soap, towels and an ice chest are not available. Guests are expected to pack out their trash and clean the cabin before leaving.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: McKenzie River Ranger District: Fish Lake Interpretive Day Use area is open year round to visit. The cabin is open to reservations November 9, 2017 through April 16, 2018.
Operational Hours:
  • Check in at 2:00 p.m.
  • Check out at 1:00 p.m.
  • Day visitors - please respect the privacy of rental occupants.
Reservations: Reserve online at or phone 1.877.444.6777.
  • $75.00 per night
  • 2-night minimum, 5-night maximum (Cabin rentals are limited to a single reservation per group per season.)
Permit Info: A Sno-Park permit is required for parking at Lava Lake. Permits are available at all DMV offices and by permit agents in resorts, sporting goods stores and retail outlets. National Forest offices do not sell Sno-Park permits. Funds from the permits go to the State of Oregon for plowing the parking areas.
Open Season: 11/10/2017 - 4/16/2018
Usage: Heavy
Busiest Season: December-February
  • 4 person limit
  • No pets
Water: Bring your own water
Restroom: An outhouse is located outside the building
Operated By: Willamette National Forest
Information Center: McKenzie River Ranger Station

General Information


From McKenzie Bridge, OR, follow Highway 126 east for 22 miles to Fish Lake Interpretive Site.  Hike 0.5 miles north along the eastern edge of Fish Lake, passing under the log archway to enter the Fish Lake Remount Depot.

The Commissary Cabin is on a hill northeast of the depot archway.

In winter,  the road to the cabins is not plowed so renters must ski or snowshoe to the cabins using a 3/4-mile trail. Trail is marked with blue diamond blazes.


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General Notes:

Area Attractions

Marked Nordic ski trails and snowmobile trails are found at the nearby Lava Lake Sno-Park. Seven sno-parks constituting the Santiam Pass Winter Recreation area are within a 15-minute drive of the area. Areas around these Sno-Parks offer miles of non-motorized trail opportunities.

Close by:

Rental Information

FURNISHINGS: 2-room cabin, propane heating and cooking stoves, solar powered lighting, table and chairs, basic kitchen utensils, full size bed and sofa.

Note - solar powered lighting is for limited duration only; bring extra flashlights and/or lanterns.

BRING: Sleeping bags, food, water, appropriate clothing, toilet paper, personal and winter safety items. Extra flashlights and/or lanterns. Also, plan on packing out your own garbage.

HEAT: Heated by propane fire places.  No wood stoves.

Commissary Cabin


 See video for accessibility information.

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