Lodge with Award-Winning Restaurant Overlooking the Columbia River
Skamania Lodge takes its name from a Chinook word meaning “swift water.” The moniker is appropriate—the hotel overlooks the Columbia River Gorge. There’s a high concentration of waterfalls here, including the country’s fifth-highest. The lodge is situated on 175 wooded acres and surrounded by beautiful natural attractions. It serves as both a place to find solitude and a home base for hiking, golfing, rafting, fishing, and many other recreational activities. It’s also surrounded by history—the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail is nearby, and Mount St. Helens is about a 60-mile drive away.
Montana slate, local rock, and natural and reclaimed timber feature prominently in the lodge’s architecture. Inside, original artwork and petroglyph rubbings reflect local Native American history and the changing flannel styles of lumberjacks. In the lobby, you can relax in an oversize chair in front of the towering stone fireplace or admire mountain views through floor-to-ceiling windows. Superior guest rooms also have good views of the surrounding forest and mountains.
Fodor’s writes that the “the resort’s two restaurants are some of the top dining experiences in the region.” Pan-roasted salmon and other regional dishes are on the menu at Skamania’s award-winning Cascade Dining Room, which features decor inspired by the classic lodges in national parks. River Rock restaurant serves lighter dishes, including salads and shared plates. Nearby, the hotel’s Waterleaf Spa and Fitness Center offers soothing treatments including a purifying facial and a hot-stone massage.
Stevenson, Washington: Laid-Back Riverfront Town amid Massive Forest Preserve
A small, scenic town on the Columbia River Gorge, Stevenson was once a humble logging community. It has since evolved into a renowned year-round destination. Many visitors are drawn to Gifford Pinchot National Forest, an outdoor wonderland spread across 1.3 million acres where you can go fishing, hiking, biking, and picnicking. The Columbia River Gorge is set amid the Cascade Range volcanoes, including Mount Hood, which is located about an hour away. It’s Oregon’s tallest peak and also home to the Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort, which holds children’s camps in the summer.