Bar M Ranch, also known as Bingham Springs, is located in the picturesque valley of the Blue Mountains along the Umatilla River. The 633-acre guest ranch has a long history. Before the first Europeans arrived, Native Americans used the hot springs for healing and religious purposes. When European travelers visited the hot springs site, they noticed the mineral water of the springs has a calming and healing effect.
The Bar M Ranch began as a stage house along the historic mail route from Walla Walla in Washington to Boise in Idaho in 1864. Before 1881, the site was called “Warm Springs”.
From 1881 to 1891, the springs were known as Purdy Springs after John Purdy who was the owner of the hotel and the postmaster. In 1892, when the property was purchased by John Bingham, the name of springs was changed to Bingham Springs.
The property changed hands several times. In 2011, the Washington church of Calvary Chapel of Tri-Cities purchased the Bar M Ranch. Though the main purpose of the owners is worship and other church activities, anyone can make a reservation and enjoy the hot springs and surrounding scenic wilderness.
The 90°F mineral water runs out of the mountain, supplying the 40 by 60 feet swimming pool with the warm mineral water. The flowing rate is 133 gallons per minute. Hence, by the state standards, no chemicals are required to treat the water. The pool area has a large deck and changing rooms with showers. The water temperature in the pool is 85°F which is good for summer swimming and soaking.
Besides swimming in the pool, Bar M Ranch offers a wide variety of activities. There are many hiking trails including Bobsled that goes up overlooking Bar M Ranch and a meadow that runs along the Umatilla River.
A small pond offers swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Kids can enjoy fishing (catch and release). Other activities are volleyball, basketball, golf, picnicking, tubing and fishing on the Umatilla River.
A variety of western-style buildings accommodate business conferences, meetings, training classes, family reunions, vacations, weddings, and other events.
Bingham Springs | General Description
Open: Blue Mountains
Development: Rustic guest ranch, swimming pool
Services: Meeting rooms, playgrounds, mercantile
Accommodations: The ranch house, lodge, cabins
Distance from the parking: Short
Road Access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Only for ranch guests
Elevation: 2,155 ft (657 m)
Bingham Springs is located:
- 30 miles northeast of Pendleton
- 209 miles northwest of Boise, Idaho
- 241 miles east of Portland.