Imnaha Post OfficeImnaha 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.


About Imnaha — 46 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: under “Wallowa” County.

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


  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…

    • I’m thinking about buying a lot in Imnaha River Woods also. Beautiful area ! I looked at a couple right on the river but I think I would rather have something up on the hillside out of the flood plane.

      • Just bought a home in Imnaha River Woods. It is out of the flood plain, as the lower two level of lots can, and do, flood.

        Neighbors have been awesome, and very friendly folks there.

        DO NOT buy one of the lower lots. They are unbuildable, and often have standing water even during the dry season.

  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!

      • So, looks like there were possibly two Ranches that my Dad may have worked for. One of the Super8 film boxes has Hofers or Hafers Ranch written on it. The other one is either Tiche or Liche as far as I can tell. I can post some photo’s of people in the films, after I figure out how.

  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.

        • Haven’t been on here for awhile. Yes, I knew the family well.(I lived at Imnaha.) Jenny was the same age as my sister. Mona (if I remember her name correctly) Dane’s wife, taught all of us kids how to folk dance. Mona’s cousin lived with them for awhile but had to go back to England. He dressed as a cowboy. 🙂 Dane owned the Pallette Place as well as land and a home at Imnaha.

          • Well, I was wrong! Dane’s wife was Rome and her cousin was David Bell.

    • Dane and his wife Rosemary moved to Imnaha in the late 1950’s. Their children Mark and Jennifer attended Imnaha School and Rosemary taught all the kids in school to folk dance. They performed at school and 4-H events in the 50’s and early 1960’s. I think Mark and his family still live in Wallowa County.

  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.

  8. my late father has land in Imnaha, along the snake river, used to own several and he has not been there since the mid-late 70’s. Over the years some land was sold off but my father kept his piece. not much so to speak but still owned it. I’ve heard some stories over the years but we never managed to get there, so based on what I’ve read above might just be well worth the journey?

    • Definitely worth a visit. I have been blessed to live here for over 10 years now. I doubt there is anyplace left in America quite like it. Dress cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Stop at the store and the post office to get your bearings and you will have a fine visit. Good steelhead fishing in March and Chinook fishing June-July.

    • I don’t remember it being a Texaco. When we owned it(sold in 1970)it was a Shell station and we added the cafe. It was there last year. Painted a awful green and I don’t know if it is occupied.

  9. Hi Imnaha folks! I’m Pattie, my daughter Hilary and I absolutely enjoyed our visit with you @ the store the first week of August,then our overnight stay @ Hat Point.I look forward to returning late September,early October,this time with my Husband,[he want’s to see the place where I left my heart!]I’m in love with this country!

  10. My Grandfather, Bailey Maxwell, owned the store, was the postmaster and the justice of the peace around 1917. My father was born in the little house you see straight ahead when you cross the bridge. I lived there when I was an infant until about 2 years old. My grandparents had a farm a few miles down the river and proved up a homestead in the rims. Later lived at the Johnson Ranch on the Snake River.

  11. I just finished reading “Four Lines a Day” and gave it to my daughter to read. A lady named Mary wrote four lines in a diary, her and her husband Kid took care of cattle and ranched on the Imnaha River. A good read,

  12. Very interesting read. Yes in agreement with the name Imnaha…IMNA is the name of one of the Nez Perce sub chiefs and HA means “home”

    My Uncle, Jay H. Stanley bought a small ranch on the upper Imnaha at the mouth of Neal Creek, in 1928. He brought lumber from the Stanley mill, 3 miles S of Joseph to build the cabin on the property. It still stands. He lived there until the mid ’80s.

    My mothers family, L.E. Shinn ranched at the mouth of Grouse Creek for several years.

    Just wished I could relate all the wonderful stories about those early days with y’all…there isn’t enough space or time.

  13. Do you still have the Canyon Days or Rattlesnake Feed there? If so, what are the dates for 2017? We would like to come for them.

  14. Hi
    Curious why there is no real mention of the Pallette Ranch and it’s history as it was quite the “Buzz” back in the day.

  15. April 29 2017
    On This Day we will celebrate the life of Fred Talbott
    at the EOLS Hall
    in union, Oregon

    Followed by grave side services in Joseph, Oregon
    may 2,2017 at 2:pm
    at the
    Prairie creek Cemetery

    Family and friends are welcome to come

  16. Back some time between 1974 and 1978 we stayed on a place up above the gorge ( not sure whos farm it was) My mother mover water line up there. I remember the house was a nice 2 story home. There was an old hands shelter to the right of the house and a small grove of fruit trees to the left. We attended the 2 room school just over the bridge there. My mother sold her large homemade cinnamon rolls there at the country store with the old wooden indian. I will never forget that indian cause I was always afraid of him (hey…I was young). I truely wish I knew more about the place. I remember I loved it up there.

  17. Looking for someone to be a cyber pal instead of a pen pal , that lives in Imnaha Just would like to chat once in awhile about the weather, seasons, and events. We hunt over there close to Olokot Campground.

  18. My grandparents were W.P. and Lucy Warnock…My Mother, Rita Reavis grew up on the home place a few miles up the river, as well as at the house (now the Enterprise house) in town.At one time I had 4 uncles living in the Imnaha canyon.

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