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Painted Hills

Caretakers Cabin

Caretakers Cabin


Caretakers Cabin allows guests to relax in the outdoors and step back in time to when the cabin was used during bygone gold mining days. It is part of the Fremont Powerhouse complex, a hub for mining built in the early 1900s. One of four cabins located at the site, this cabin offers flexibility for large groups. Guests can rent all four cabins and also pitch tents in the grassy yard.

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 available for recreational rentals.

The cabin is the furthest uphill of all structures, overlooking neighboring cabins. It can accommodate up to 10 guests. Winter access may require skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles.

Natural Features:

Perched on a small rise at about 5,000 feet in elevation, the cabin is set on a hillside looking out at the North Fork John Day Wilderness. A grassy lawn in front spreads to the three other 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.


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


The cabin is a large house with six rooms including a kitchen, bathroom, dining room, parlor and two bedrooms upstairs. Electric lights are provided and the cabin is warmed with electric wall heaters. The large kitchen is warm and inviting, featuring blue-stain pine cabinets and plenty of counter space, a refrigerator, cook stove and oven, microwave, coffee maker and toaster. It is well equipped with a wide variety of cooking pots, dishes, cutlery and silverware. Cleaning supplies are also provided.

The dining room is furnished with a large dining table and many chairs. The bathroom features a flush toilet and hot and cold water for the bathtub (in summer only). No shower is available. Two upstairs bedrooms are furnished with a queen and full bunk and a twin bunk. The downstairs parlor is furnished with log-style furniture including a queen-sized futon, chair, coffee table and end table.

Drinking water is available June through September only. No water or indoor plumbing from October to May. During these months, guests are asked to bring plenty of water for drinking, cooking and washing. Other items to pack year-round include food, bedding, a first aid kit, flashlight, matches and all other basic camping gear. Click here for more cabin details.

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.

Contact Info

P.O. BOX 158
Sumpter, OR