Skamania Lodge

Me and the family check out Skamania Lodge in the Columbia River Gorge. See what makes this a PNW gem, plus get the scoop on the treehouse, pool and ziplines. {Sponsored post}

I don’t know what I was expecting, but our recent family trip to Skamania Lodge really blew me away.  The views were amazing.  The lodge was gorgeous and the restaurant was delicious!   The next morning as we checked out, I was feeling sad that  we couldn’t stay longer.  A good sign I think!  Always leave them wanting more!

Surprisingly, Skamania Lodge isn’t that far away from Portland, just 1 hour from my house in NE, so my family and I  took our time on the way out there by driving SR 14 on the Washington side of the river.  We stopped for a hike at Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge, which is a great hike for kids.  It’s nearly flat, and the trails are even wide enough for strollers if you need them!  Afterward we stopped for lunch at Amnesia Brewing in Washougal.  (Did you know Washougal is a really awesome little town? They have four breweries, a Pendleton Factory Store and  a really cute downtown. #hottip)

Steigerwald Wildlife Refuge in Washougal, Washington

Check-in isn’t until 4pm at Skamania so we took our time and drove around Stevenson, WA while our toddler took a nap in the car.  She was still groggy, so after check-in we all relaxed in the room for an hour before heading to our 6pm dinner reservation.  Our room had an amazing view of the gorge and looked out over the big lawn (the gathering place for the hotel guests)  I really wish it had a balcony, but I can see the benefit of not having one.  It forced us to go out and mingle with the other guests, which was lots of fun and really gives the hotel a sense of community.  

View of the Columbia River Gorge from our room.

Dinner was great!  The views from the dining room are some of the best in the hotel.  We didn’t get a seat by the window, but enjoyed the view none the less.  Jacob had the steelhead  and I had a vegetarian polenta dish.  I’m usually a meat eater, but for some reason the polenta called to me.  Kids eat for half price on Fridays and Saturdays, which is pretty awesome, but our kiddo is a terrible eater right now so she just ate some sliced apples and some of our bread.  But she loved having a menu and crayons to play with. 

After dinner, we went back to the room to put on our swimsuits and hit the pool! They have an indoor pool and hot tub as well as  an outdoor (21+) jacuzzi.  The pool was kind of quiet, but the outdoor area was packed with people (the photo is the next morning).  We mostly stayed in the pool but I ventured out into adult land for couple minutes of alone time.  Everyone was sipping wine and beer and having a great time.  

I’m totally obsessed with this tiled tree mural.

But the highlight of our stay came after the swim.  I snagged a S’more making kit in the gift shop and we headed out to play on the lawn.  Even as the sun was setting, kids were running around playing, crowds were gathered around the fire pit and lots of couples were cuddled up together with glasses of wine.  It was just so charming!  We sat and enjoyed the evening  while Brigitte ran around.  Then we squeezed in at the fire pit to make some s’mores.  Afterwards we all went to our room, exhausted and full.  It was a fantastic day.  

Honestly… we had a rough night after that.   Toddlers can be challenging especially when sleeping in a strange place… but luckily Skamania offers free coffee every morning in the lobby.  So after a few (4!) cups we were ready for the day.  I shot some photos (like my #360Video) while Brigitte played on the lawn again (she seriously LOVED it), we decided to head into Stevenson for breakfast on the back deck at Clark and Lewies.  This place had excellent food and the “Bridge of the Gods” Bloody Mary was just what the doctor ordered.  

The weather was perfect and we just didn’t want to go home, so crossed the river and headed out to Lost Lake outside of Hood River, where we hiked the lake loop and did a little swimming before finally returning to Portland.  

View from the trail around Lost Lake.

Now that I’ve stayed one night, I really hope to go back to Skamania to stay longer!   We didn’t get to hike any of the trails around the lodge (tried but had a toddler meltdown…) and oh yeah, I forgot to mention they have a ZIPLINE course!!! I NEED TO TRY IT!!!  We watched a few people slide above us in the parking lot.  It looked like a lot of fun.  

Treehouse at Skamania Lodge

 I should also mention the treehouses.  When we came home, all my friends asked me about the treehouses.  We did walk over to check them out, but I didn’t get to look inside.  I think “treehouse” is a little misleading, house on stilts is probably a better description, but they look beautiful inside.  They are kind of far away from all the action of the resort, which for me, was a big part of the fun of Skamania Lodge,  but if you want to be alone or have some privacy (wedding maybe?)  it might be perfect.  

Bottom line, if you are heading to the gorge, Skamania Lodge should be high on your list of places to stay.  The rooms are wonderful, the food and drinks are excellent, the views are incredible, but most importantly it’s lots of fun.  Plus it’s only 60 minutes from Portland, hard find a better quick getaway than this this.  Happy travels!


{Disclosure: Skamania Lodge gave me a free stay at in exchange for a blog post and social media coverage.  No additional compensation was provided.  All opinions expressed in this article are my own.}


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.