Skamania Lodge – A Wooded Sanctuary in Washington State

Jocelyn Murray December 19, 2016 No Comments

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Nestled in a glade near the Columbia River Gorge in the beautiful state of Washington, Skamania Lodge makes for a lovely escape to the Pacific Northwest. While the Lodge itself is charming and handsomely appointed with luxurious guestrooms, spa, indoor pool, delicious dining and more, the lush wooded grounds are what captivated me most.

 

HIKING TRAILS

The road less traveled…

There are three scenic hiking trails right on the property, all of which I explored again and again to my heart’s delight. They are easily accessed right outside the Lodge. But the best part is the feeling of seclusion. Even in the high season months while I was there, I had the trails all to myself.

The trail is wide in some places, and then narrows, meandering through the property’s forest, up and down small hills that give one a great workout.

I don’t know if anyone else gets as excited about moss and lichen as I do. Perhaps it’s just my own oddly romantic nature.

Moss clings to the tree trunks and drapes from the branches, and the ground is carpeted with pines needles and leaves that crunch softly underfoot. The air is so fresh, fragrant, and richly oxygenated, my cheeks were flushed a deep crimson by the time I finished my hike.

Rocks and small boulders are covered with patches of lichen which look almost like guano. An abundance of ferns and lush vegetation lend it a prehistoric appeal. I could almost imagine I was in Jurassic Park.

The wooded path twists and climbs through the stately trees, while a gentle breeze rustles the birch leaves, making them shimmer in the dappled light.

Beautiful views are everywhere

The resort’s golf course lies nearby, but one only catches a glimpse of it on occasion when the trail curves along its edge. There are also tranquil ponds fringed by cattails, reeds and a profusion of flowers and grasses which delight the senses with their rich, earthy scent. Ducks and turtles swim among the water lilies there. The ponds are a serene green color.  I half-expected the Lady of the Lake to rise from their emerald depths to give King Arthur his sword Excalibur. It’s so enchanting, it sent my imagination on an adventure of its own.

 

DINING

Wild blackberries… mmm

I can go on and on about the trails, but even hikers need to eat.

There are two on-site restaurants: the Cascade Dining Room and River Rock, with the seasonal outdoor Greenside Grill located at the golf course. The Greenside Grill’s hot dogs, incidentally, are amazing, with grilled onions and relish. The Cascade Dining Room has a tasty selection of fresh fish, steaks, chops, soups and appetizers like pan seared scallops (a personal favorite), roasted beet and smoked goat cheese salad, and mushrooms sautéed in garlic, shallots and thyme. The River Rock features a more casual fare for sharing. Things like salads, pizza, and burgers are prepared fresh, and full bar awaits.

Turtles sunning themselves atop a sunken log

The resort’s thoughtful little touches like complimentary gourmet coffee and Tazo tea in main lobby, and complimentary fresh crisp apples in the Gorge Room by the lobby add an inviting touch.

 

ADDITIONAL AMENITIES

Guest can enjoy tennis, basketball and volleyball, complimentary use of adult street bikes, zip lining right in the property’s forest, and a full-service spa. An 18-hole, par-70 golf course is enticingly tucked into the 175 wooded acres.

The Gorge Room, right off the Lobby

Skamania Lodge is a place I would not mind visiting again, especially for the hiking trails on the gorgeous property. I love the remote feel of the resort, and enjoy losing myself in all the natural beauty. It is also a great place for this writer to set her imagination on fire. Oh, the romance of nature. It always does that to me.

Perhaps it will for you as well.

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avatarAbout the Author:

Jocelyn Murray is a travel writer and historical fiction novelist. She holds two university master's degrees in both English and Education, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and European Studies. She also has a teaching credential and taught at the elementary school level.

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