Bureau of Land Management National Park Service US Fish and Wildlife Service US Forest Service

Lostine River, Oregon

Managing Agency:

U.S. Forest Service, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest


Designated Reach:

October 28, 1988. From its headwaters in the Eagle Cap Wilderness to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest boundary.


Classification/Mileage:

Wild — 5.0 miles; Recreational — 11.0 miles; Total — 16.0 miles.

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Lostine River

The Lostine River is located in northeast Oregon on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Originating from Minam Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, the river flows through a glaciated, U-shaped valley and is surrounded by mountain meadows and high mountain peaks. The upper five miles of the designated segment, within the wilderness, are classified as wild, and the lower 11 miles are classified as recreational. The river's outstandingly remarkable values include; recreation, scenery, fisheries, wildlife and vegetation/botany.

Visitors can access the river in a variety of ways. The Two Pan Trailhead provides the best hike along the upper section in the Eagle Cap wilderness. Forest Service roads provide access to most segments below the wilderness boundary. Camping along the river is available at the Two Pan, Shady, Williamson campgrounds and several dispersed campsites.

The river corridor supports a diversity of wildlife habitats and species, including Rocky Mountain elk, deer, black bear, mountain lion, beaver, otter, mink and other small mammals. Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, indigenous to the Eagle Cap Wilderness, have been reintroduced in the Hurricane Creek-Lostine River drainage. Peregrine falcons, bald eagles and a large variety of other birds inhabit the area. The river supports spring and fall Snake River Chinook salmon (listed as threatened under ESA), steelhead and bull trout.

The unique area is home to numerous proposed, endangered, threatened and sensitive (PETS) species of plants. These include 11 species of moonwart and the northern twayblade. The rarity of finding so many moonwarts in one locality provides the opportunity for scientific research and a delight for botanists.