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Log lodges of the Northwest.

Bed-and-breakfasts to mountain retreats, these seven are built from whole logs

IN THE NORTHWEST, log lodges are rustic affirmations that architecture can use its setting for both inspiration and materials. Recently, we stayed at seven log lodges that seem carved from their surroundings. Most of them are built from local timber, are furnished with work by area craftspeople, and draw on local foods for their menus' specialties. Far from being a monolithic lot, these privately owned lodges range from cozy bed-and-breakfasts to remote mountain retreats.

Although many other Northwest wood lodges have shingle, board-and-batten, or clapboard exteriors, these seven are all constructed from whole logs, with timber ranging from cedar to red fir.


Tyax Mountain Lake Resort (28 rooms; $88 Canadian, double; 4 chalets, $180 for four persons; meals extra and open to nonguests).

The heart of this isolated resort, located 160 miles north of Vancouver, is an enormous three-story spruce log lodge, said to be Western Canada's largest log structure. The lodge boasts oversize guest rooms with eiderdown quilts, dramatic mountain views, and manicured lawns that sweep down to pristine Tyaughton Lake.

Meals include buffets and beach barbecues. Summer activities range from horseback riding and boating to floatplane excursions and gold panning on the resort's private claim.

Write to the resort, Tyaughton Lake Rd., Gold Bridge VOK 1PO, or call (604) 238-2221.

Wild Horse Farm (4 rooms; $58 to $87 Canadian, double, including full breakfast; dinners available to guests upon request at extra charge).

This two-story, fir log-faced manor house, built in 1929 by a nephew of John Jacob Astor IV, is set against a Canadian Rockies backdrop, surrounded by 80 acres of meadows and pastures. Cows and guinea fowl keep an eye on guests playing croquet or relaxing on the veranda. Furnishings range from Tiffany lamps to bearskin rugs.

Memorable breakfasts incorporate farm produce and eggs in a vegetable frittata or puffy oven pancakes served with homemade fruit syrups.

Write to Box 7, Fort Steele VOB 1NO, or call (604) 426-6000.


Mt. Ashland Inn (5 rooms, $75 to $125 double, including full breakfast).

Owners Elaine and Jerry Shanafelt built this impressive three-story lodge literally from the ground up: cutting and milling cedar logs from their property, then finishing the building with Jerry Shanafelt's handcrafted stained glass, carved doors, and cherry Windsor chairs.

Since the lodge opened in 1987, guests have come for the hiking (the Pacific Crest Trail runs through the parking lot), the mountain views, and the wholesome breakfasts featuring local products such as spiced honey.

Write to the inn, 550 Mt. Ashland Rd., Ashland 97520, or call (503) 482-8707.


The Captain Whidbey Inn (13 lodge rooms, adults only, $75 to $150 double; 13 lagoon rooms, $115 double; 4 cottages, $150 double. Rates include continental breakfast. Lunch and dinner extra. Meals open to nonguests on space-available basis).

This 1907 Whidbey Island landmark, set in a forested glen on quiet Penn Cove, is one of the only madrona log structures in the Northwest. The original lodge offers snug log rooms and baths down the hall. All rooms have feather beds and down comforters.

Penn Cove mussels get top billing in the dining room, where they are served steamed with fragrant ginger or in white wine with basil. Leisurely pursuits include horseshoes and sunset sails aboard the innkeeper's 52-foot ketch.

Write to the inn, 2072 W. Captain Whidbey Inn Rd., Coupeville 98239, or call (800) 366-4097.

Log Castle Bed & Breakfast (4 rooms, $78 to $98 double, including full breakfast).

Fir logs from the surrounding woods frame this 1980 structure's fairy-tale arched entry and soaring interior. Guest rooms include two octagonal aeries in a three-story turret offering panoramic views of Mount Baker and Saratoga Passage.

Morning treats, including cottage cheese pancakes or eggs baked in seashells, are served on a table made from the end cut of a fir log on a hemlock stump. Outside, a canoe and a rowboat rest on the secluded beach, watched over by 13 resident bald eagles.

Write to the inn, 3273 E. Saratoga Rd., Langley 98260, or call (206) 221-5483.

Notaras Lodge (16 rooms, $39 to $125 double; no meals at lodge).

Massive spruce logs up to 42 inches in diameter form the walls of this 1984 lodge that is part museum, part spa. Each suite has a theme (Western nostalgia or local celebrity); accents range from a golden microphone to branding irons. One room honors hometown crooner Bonnie Guitar. Other features include double-nozzled tub taps spouting tap water or Soap Lake's mineral-laden water.

Write to Box 987, Soap Lake 98851, or call (509) 246-0462.

Run of the River Bed and Breakfast (6 rooms, $90 to $140 double, including full breakfast; no children).

Perched above an oxbow on the Icicle River, this red fir retreat built in 1979 faces jagged mountains and an island wildlife sanctuary populated each May and October by migratory wildfowl. Well-appointed rooms include hand-hewn log furniture and binoculars.

Local fruits cap copious breakfasts starring French toast and vegetable frittatas. Mountain bikes are available.

Write to Box 285, Leavenworth 98826, or call (800) 288-6491.
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Author:Carmichael, Suzanne
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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