From the Lava Lake Sno-Park, guests can snowshoe or cross-country ski 0.75 miles to the historical Fish Lake Remount Depot cabins that rest at 3,200 feet near Santiam Pass. This compound, which was constructed as a field office in the early 1900s to house firefighters, wilderness guards, and pack animals, still operates as a staging area for Forest Service personnel heading in and out of the nearby wilderness areas. The remount depot also sits along the Santiam Trail, an historic route for Native Americans that wagon trains utilized in the mid-1800s. This particular site has functioned as a perfect resting spot for weary travelers for many years. You can even find a pioneer gravesite nearby.
Both Hall House and Commissary cabins are available to rent from winter through spring and are within close vicinity of one another. Hall House is the larger of the two cabins and includes two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a common room with a propane fireplace. It also has a front and center view of Fish Lake from its large porch, complete with chairs. The smaller Commissary Cabin includes a single bedroom, a common area with propane heating, and a small kitchen. Each cabin offers solar-powered lighting, propane stoves, sofas, very basic utensils, and cookware. An outhouse with a pit toilet is located nearby, however, potable water and electricity are not available. It is advised that guests bring additional lighting, bedding, toilet paper, matches, and trash bags to pack out trash.
In the winter, Fish Lake is commonly iced over and fairly shallow. In the summer the lake commonly dries up completely. Winter recreation opportunities through thick forests are abundant, and seven sno-parks are within a 15-minute drive. One can find marked cross-country ski and snowmobile trails at the Lava Lake Sno-Park. Wildlife is abundant in the area, and it isn't uncommon to spot Roosevelt elk, black bear, northern bald eagles, mule deer, and coyotes.