Forty-five minutes away from Portland, cross over the Bridge of the Gods and you will find a spot that offers 45 different recreation options in the small town of Stevenson, Washington.
Skamania Lodge is a Destination Hotels and Resort property with an 18-hole championship golf course and a spectacular view of the Columbia River Gorge.
“Skamania” is the Chinook Indian word that means “swift water”. There are over 70 waterfalls nearby, including the famous Multnomah Falls.
On Friday and Saturday during the summer, do not miss the Falconry Program on the front lawn. The demonstrations give a rare opportunity to interact with Bald Eagles, peregrine falcons, and other trained eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. It is a chance to see some of nature’s most powerful birds in the scenic Columbia River Gorge setting.
Skamania Lodge also has a 22,000 square foot conference and event center, full service spa and fitness center, solarium style indoor heated swimming pool, dry saunas, indoor and outdoor whirlpools, tennis courts, basketball court, volleyball court, and five miles of hiking trails on property. For an adrenaline rush, try the Canopy Zip Line Tour. Ten stories high, you can fly with the eagles on eight zip lines and four sky bridges. The 2-hour tour gives you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding mountains, Columbia River and forest. Get out an explore the grounds of the resort by hiking one of the trails.
Skamania Lodge was built in 1993. It was designed to have the charm and appeal of the great lodges of the early 1900s, yet have all of the modern conveniences of a rustic luxury lodge. In the four-story Cascadian style lodge you immediately notice the high-pitched roofs and enormous fireplace you would expect to find in the great lodges of the West. Some of the large timber columns in the Gorge Room are over 100 years old and came from a dismantled BumbleBee cannery in Astoria, Oregon. In the heart of the lobby and Gorge Room is the 85-foot tall fireplace made with andesite rock that was excavated from an abandoned quarry just a few miles from the lodge. It is estimated the fireplace weighs 500,000 pounds.
On the walls are original local artwork, ceramics and petroglyph rubbings depicting the Native American history of the Columbia River Gorge. The rubbings across the hall from River Rock Restaurant are special as the petroglyphs are now underwater and no longer visible. Grab a narrated CD or brochure from the front desk to learn about the artwork that lines the walls.
The rustic feel of the lodge extends into the guests rooms. Skamania Lodge has 254 guest rooms with either a commanding view of the Columbia River Gorge or a spectacular view of the Cascade Mountains forest.
Each room has a distinctly Northwest, yet luxurious feel with modern amenities like a coffee maker and terrycloth robes. One of my favorite touches is the Do Not Disturb pine cone.
Open up the window and let the fresh mountain air fill your room and enjoy a sunrise over the Gorge while sipping a hot cup of coffee with a chill in the air to start the day, even in summer.
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