Guest post. The author received a complimentary stay.
Just 45 minutes away from Portland, Oregon and a little over three hours from Seattle, the Skamania Lodge is a perfect getaway for families in the northwest. The property perfectly blends outdoor activities with cozy lodge comforts all set in the gorgeous natural backdrop of the Columbia River Gorge. I had the chance to explore the property and their new Aerial Park over the course of three rare sunshine-filled days in February. Here’s why you should add it to your northwest travel itinerary.
Review of Skamania Lodge in Washington
Rooms at Skamania Lodge
Skamania Lodge features 254 rooms including king and double bed rooms with views of either the forest or the Columbia River. We stayed on a 4th floor premier room that offered large lookout windows with spectacular views of the resort grounds, Cascade Mountains, and the Columbia River. Our room also included a separate living room with hide-a-bed couch making it easy to sleep a family in one room.
To make your stay at Skamania Lodge even more special, you can also opt to stay in one of their four Treehouses – 2 Kings and 2 Family Doubles – perched 20 feet above the ground with amazing views, private sitting areas, and plenty of amenities like indoor/outdoor fireplaces, hammocks, and showers with a view.
Activities at Skamania Lodge
Activities are where Skamania really shines! We had the chance to try out the lodge’s new Aerial Park as well as the Zipline Tour. Both of these are great outdoor activities for families, couples or friends to do.
The Aerial Park is an all-new outdoor experience featuring 19 platforms and 22 elements including rope bridges, leapfrog logs, cargo nets, and even an elevated canoe to cross! I loved that we got to guide ourselves through the course after a brief tutorial course in how to use the super-secure harness system. You can choose to do (or avoid!) the elements you want and do the ones you loved over and over again within the 2-hour time limit. I also appreciated that there were three different “loops” you could explore on the course which meant there was no back-up, waiting for the person in front of you to get up their nerve to finish the rope bridge. While the Aerial Park allows kids as young as 6 with an adult, I think it might be frustrating and hard to complete for anyone under 10. It was fun, but there were elements that were definitely challenging!
The Zipline Tour was my favorite. This guided 2.5-hour tour consists of seven different ziplines, three sky bridges, and other unique features like a belay assist drop off, individual and group photo stops, and stunning views of the forests, mountains and river. Two guides do all the harness hooking and unhooking so your job is just to enjoy the zips ranging in length from 100 up to 900 feet long! The zipline has no age limit, but zippers must be at least 60 lbs.
Looking for something different? Skamanai Lodge also offers a par-70, 18-hole golf course, tennis, basketball, volleyeball, Vine Gogh painting classes, and more than four miles of hiking trails on the property for all ability levels.
Massages, facials and other spa treatments are also available at the on-property Waterleaf Spa which includes an adult-only outdoor hot tub, a large indoor heated pool for the whole family, and spa treatments until 9pm – so parents can go after the kids go down!
Dining at Skamania Lodge
Skamania Lodge offers three on-site dining options. You can enjoy fine dining at the Cascade Dining Room where executive chef Matt Hale combines fresh, regional ingredients to create tasty dishes to start – or end – your day. On Fridays, head to Cascade for happy hour specials on menu favorites like Fried Brussel sprouts, Lodge burgers and Oven-Baked Pizzas all under $10. Or select off the main menu with must-haves including the Skamania Buttermilk Fried Chicken which just may change your life. While perhaps a bit fancier for families, kids are definitely welcome and can enjoy menu options off the kid’s menu including $5 pancakes and egg scrambles as well as lunch and dinner specials like mac & cheese, pizzas, and turkey sandwiches – all for under $10.
For more casual dining, try River Rock that combines cozy ambiance with family-friendly fare including burgers, pizzas, salads, tacos and more. During the summer months, enjoy your cocktail or meal outside overlooking the Skamania grounds and the Columbia River Gorge. In winter, cozy up at a table next to the giant stone fireplace.
If you’d rather eat in your room or have something packed for a hike or picnic on the road, Skamania’s Green Apron offers a range of pre-packaged and room service treats to keep you fed and on the go.
If you’re willing to venture off the property, you won’t be disappointed with the service or drink options at The Cabin Drive-Thru just north through town for a fresh-brewed coffee, frozen custard, or blended frappe. For something more substantial (and a place you won’t worry about your 4-year-old making noise), head south past the Bridge of the Gods to Beacon Rock Café inside the Skamania General Store. While you normally might drive right past this roadside stop, the breakfast and lunch options that Julie whips up – not to mention the down-home service and incredibly reasonable prices all breakfasts are $6-$10) – are worth the short drive. We may have visited twice during our short stay….
Whether you go for the ziplines for the golf course, the spa or to explore the Columbia River Gorge, check out the Skamania Lodge’s upcoming specials and book your northwest getaway now!
Kate Bayless is a travel lover and freelance writer based in Southern California who loves exploring everywhere from remote BLM campsites to luxury beach resorts to international destinations with her husband and three sons. Follow her adventures on Twitter, Instagram or Contently.