Imnaha is an unincorporated community in Oregon USA, 30 Imnaha Garage 1929miles northeast of Joseph where the Imnaha River and Little Sheep Creek meet. About a dozen people live ‘at the bridge’ (in the town proper), but counting the surrounding farm families the Imnaha Post Office delivers mail to 80 households or 175 people in all. Imnaha River is a stream that flows from the Wallowa Mountains the to Snake River through one of the deepest river gorges on the continent. The word was used by William Clark on a map issued with the original Lewis and Clark journals in 1814, in the form Innahar. As far as is known, Capt. Benjamin Bonneville was the first non-Indian to go into the Imnaha country. He was in the vicinity of Imnaha River in January and February 1834. It attracts few newcomers due to its isolation, rugged terrain and intense summer heat. Steeped in history, this area was once home to the Nez Perce Indians before they were illegally driven out, and then later, white settlers. At the turn of the 19th century, Imnaha was a thriving community with a store, saloon, hotel, blacksmith shop, and – according to a 1900 census – 182 residents. The historic Imnaha Store and Tavern, owned and operated by Dave and Sally Tanzey, serves food, beer, information and grocery staples to locals and visitors The store’s phone number is 541.577.3111.

P1060478Imnaha is also home to a two-room elementary school and the Imnaha Christian Fellowship Church – built by the community in 1991 on land donated by A.L. Duckett, a three unit motel and a bed and breakfast five miles away on Lower Imnaha Road. It is a popular destination for fishermen and hunters and because of the relatively low elevation of 1,978 feet above sea level it is locally known as Wallowa County’s garden spot or “banana belt”. It’s also the starting point for a very scenic 24 mile drive south up to Hat Point Lookout (elevation 7,000 ft), where visitors can look down at Snake River 5,750 below. A long and rough 27-mile drive north from Imnaha to Dug Bar, provides the only vehicle access to the Snake River and Hells Canyon from Wallowa County, and is a popular drop off point for Hells Canyon floaters and hikers. Twenty four miles upriver is the Imnaha River Woods Development, a mixture of residential and camp properties.

We are devoted to  preserving the history of Imnaha Oregon and the surrounding area.

Comments

About Imnaha — 15 Comments

  1. I am working on updating my Oregon page on our RV Travel Guide (all 50 states and all Canadian provinces), and found this site.

    I will be adding Imnaha to the Oregon page under Wallowa County once I’m finished editing the Oregon page.

    You will be able to find your link at: http://www.rvadvice.com/travel/OR.html under “Wallowa” County.

    I like your site and spent a lot of time out here reading about your town!

    webmaster
    Liz

  2. I have a lot in Imnaha River Woods. Right on the river. It is potential floodplain so I don’t know how build-able it is. Nor do I care. It is bug-out property. SHTF stuff. If necessary, I can park the RV on the lot, and go with the flow. I do know a couple neighbors. Good people, but self-sufficient…

  3. Wondering if the folks that owned a Ranch back in 1957-1959 time period is still in Imnaha, OR. After my Dad graduated from high school in Milton Freewater, OR he got a job on the ranch, driving cattle. I just recently had some negatives (photos) put to disc and there are some great photos of the family that he had worked for. I would love to be in contact with the family, yet do not know their name, only pictures. Any help would be so much appreciated. Thank you! Anne

    • Anne Gibbons, Did you find out who your Dad worked for? What is your Dad’s name? Post the photos on here and someone will be able to help. I lived there during that time. My brother, Gary, owns this site. :)

      • My Dad’s name was Robert “Bob” Wayne Gibbons. I do have the Last name of the Ranch Owners, but need to look back at the movie film box. Thanks Gail!
        Anne

  4. Hello I’m looking for some information regarding the River Woods development, river water levels during the summer months, fishing opportunities, population, etc.

    Thank You

  5. Does anyone remember Dane Roberts who lived and owned a cattle ranch in Imnaha around the 1960’s ?? He was a good friend of my father, and we stayed on his ranch for 2 weeks in 1966. I will never forget the smell of the pine trees and the sound of the blacksmith shaping horseshoes on the anvil. There was a cowboy named Cuz on the ranch and we got our best horse ever from him!! She was a creme colored buckskin cowpony named “Tinkerbell”. My mom had to cook on a wood burning stove in a log cabin, and we thought it was so fun to use an outhouse! I received my first bee sting on the foot while there. I remember Imnaha like it was yesterday. Would love to go back up and visit the town and try to find the cabin if possible. Any infomation is greatly appreciated. Ginny

    • You must have been at the Pallette Place which is up the river about 25 miles from Imnaha. There aren’t any pine trees at Imnaha and the ranch house there had electricity and indoor plumbing. Don’t know of anyone named Cuz but they did have a cousin from England living with them for awhile. He wasn’t a cowboy!

      • Hello Gail, and Thank You for the reply! My sister and I were talking the other day and sharing stories about the vacation in Imnaha. My sister now lives in Newberg, Oregon and had met a person from around the Imnaha area and she remembered Cuz!! My father was a gunsmith and taxidermist from Santa Barbara and had built many of Dane Roberts Kentucky Long Rifles. Did you know Dane and his family? Thank You again for the reply.

  6. I am a regular at the Imnaha store. Dave and Sally are great folks. (She was a schoolmate of mine) Always a hug and cold beer when I visit. The hunting is good, the scenery better, and the people are second to none. If it’s been a while, go again. If you’ve never been, go.

  7. I used to live down the road from the store at my Grandmothers place. My Great Grandma lived in the little place up the road. I haven’t been back for way too long and am going to be there again soon. Anyone know if the Warnocks, Meyers, or Zollman’s are still taking care of the property? Thank you for any news.

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