Northwest lodges ideal for your next getawayNothing says the Pacific Northwest like a stately yet rustic mountain lodge surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Even better, make it a historic lodge, built well before the days of cost-cutting and tough environmental regulations.
These lodges are the real deal. They usually are constructed of Northwest timber -- make that old-growth Northwest timber. Lots of big logs and beams, precise stonework and always a fireplace to the sky.
A lot of these are in or near national parks, while others aren't. Here are five options for your vacation or getaway at a historic Northwest lodge:
Lake Quinault LodgeLake Quinault Lodge is on the Olympic Peninsula -- a favorite destination since this impressive lodge was built in 1926. Look in the dictionary for the definition of a historic lodge and one can imagine seeing a picture of Lake Quinault Lodge. It's just like those big old East Coast lodges you have heard about.
Lake Quinault Lodge is located in the rain forest and the forest canopy here is thick indeed. The lodge is right on the lake, which is a freshwater mountain lake that is especially enticing during the summer months. You can rent a canoe or kayak from the lodge. Nearby there are trails that take you deep into the Ho Rain Forest.
The lodge itself is rustic but comfortable. There are 91 rooms altogether including some in the main lodge and others in adjacent buildings. The rooms have antique furniture and many have panoramic views of the lake. In fact, a favorite activity at Lake Quinault is just gazing at the lake while enjoying the large lawn area and docks right in front of the hotel.
For more information, visit www.olympicnational parks.com or phone 360-288-2900.
Timberline LodgeA place like Timberline Lodge on Oregon's Mount Hood is exactly what you're talking about when you're discussing historic Northwest lodges. Timberline was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977.
Timberline is an amazing structure that dates back to 1937 when it was built as a during the Great Depression. It was part of the New Deal that pulled America out of the Depression and was built by workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Timberline is located part way up Mount Hood, Oregon's highest peak, which makes it a great place for summer hikes and not only winter skiing, but skiing year-round.
Unlike some historic lodges, this one does have television and telephones right in the room. The rooms are furnished with hand-made furniture. But you may end up spending a lot of time in the grand lobby with its typical Northwest lodge features such as old-growth timber beams and stone arches -- and a huge fireplace and chimney.
In summer you'll find many nearby hiking trails and points of interest, with the Columbia River Gorge close enough for a fun daytrip.
For more information, please visit www.timberlinelodge.com or phone 800-547-1406.
Lake Crescent LodgeHead back out to the Olympic Peninsula and you'll find a lodge that was once a fishing retreat for the rich and famous. That was way back in 1916 when the Lake Crescent Lodge first opened its doors.
Lake Crescent is a gorgeous body of water you come across as you drive through the Olympic Mountains, and the Lake Crescent Lodge is right at water's edge. During summer the waters invite you to rent a kayak or canoe which is sure to bring back that feeling you had back in summer camp.
There are 52 rooms in the lodge, which features antique furnishings throughout. There are also some Singe Tavern Cottages and Roosevelt Fireplace Cottages for rent, all of which are close to the lake.
There is plenty of hiking nearby, with views of the mountains and lake around just about every corner. When you're done, step into the lodge restaurant for some great home-style cooking.
For more information, please visit www.olympicnationalparks.com or phone 888-896-3818.
Glacier Park LodgeGlacier Park Lodge is in Montana, right on the U.S. Canada border, and the scenery is incredible. If you love the mountains here in the Northwest, this is your place. There are glaciers, snowfields, thick forests, wild flowers and plenty of trails to explore.
The Glacier Park Lodge dates back a century to when the railroad was building lodgings to accommodate tourists who wanted to see what the wilderness was really like. The tourists are still coming, many of them by rail. A popular trip is to take an overnight train from Seattle reaching the Glacier Park Lodge in time to have lunch the next day.
The lodge was built in 1913 and was constructed from old-growth Douglas fir. It's a sight to behold, and is the quintessential Northwest lodge. A lot of lodge guests spend their time in the area exploring Glacier National Park and enjoying those panoramic views.
For more information, please visit www.glacierparkinc.com or phone 406-226-5600.
Crater Lake LodgeThese are great, classic lodges that really offer something extra special for your vacation or getaway.
Crater Lake in Southern Oregon is a true natural wonder. It was formed nearly 8,000 years ago when Mount Mazama blew, much as Mt. St. Helens did a few decades ago. Crater Lake has sheer cliffs on every side -- some as high as 2,000 feet -- and everywhere you look are fascinating geological formations.
Nearby Crater Lake Lodge was built in 1915 and you can stay in rooms that have incredible views of the lake. There is no TV or phone in this historic lodge, but the furnishings are quite nice and the ponderosa beams and pillars really give this hotel the feel of a classic historic lodge.
Crater Lake Lodge is so popular you'll have to book months in advance. While the hotel isn't open year-round, the nearby national park is.
For more information, please visit www.craterlakelodges.com or phone 888-774-2728.
PHOTOS: Lake Quinault Lodge; beautiful Lake Crescent
Click here for more great Northwest travel ideas!
Click here for great deals on California travel