Unforgettable Northwest Winter Escapes

Winter is just around the corner, and this year why not make the most of it by enjoying an unforgettable escape in the Northwest?

Any one of these destinations are sure to make the season a whole lot brighter!

Silcox Hut at Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood

Often referred to as “Oregon’s Highest Hotel Room,” the charmingly rustic Silcox Hut at Timberline Lodge, pictured above,  is tucked even farther up the mountain from the lodge and, in winter, you ca only get there by skis or Sno-Cat. It features bunk rooms, three shared bathrooms, dinner and breakfast served family style, and a resident host who serves as both cook and counselor. It’s all about relaxation here as you’ll have someone else make your bed and transport your luggage while you ski, sip wine by the big stone fireplace and enjoy the pool, spa and sauna at the lodge.

Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon

If the hut is a little too far out, stay at Located the historic Timberline Lodge, one of Oregon’s most popular tourist attractions. The timber and stone structure dates back to 1936 and was constructed entirely by hand by unemployed craftspeople hired as part of the Federal Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. Considered an architectural wonder, the 1980 film “The Shining,” used aerial shots of the lodge as part of its opening scene as well as some exterior footage. Rooms boast original artwork and handcrafted furnishings created by the same workers who built the facilities. During the peak of winter, the ground floor is typically buried in snow – guests have access through a snow tunnel.

Five Pine Lodge, Sisters, Oregon

Five Pine Lodge is tucked within the Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon, providing an idyllic winter playground as well as a perfect destination for those who are looking for tranquility and seclusion. Fabulous for couples who want to enjoy some alone time together, the lodge offers a special romance package that includes three nights in a private cabin waking up to breakfast in bed each morning, couples massage, champagne, bubble baths and more. Rooms include gas fireplaces, European soaking tubs, plush bathrobes and especially comfy beds with down comforters and pillows. If you can pull yourself away from your cozy room you’ll find plenty of winter fun to be had outside as well, with skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing all nearby.

Paradise Inn, Mount Rainier, Washington

In the winter, this pristine landscape dominated by the over 14,ooo-foot-high Mount Rainier is a true winter wonderland with much of the area and wildlife sleeping under blankets of deep snow, other than the white-tailed ptarmigan and snowshoe hare that occasionally leave tracks in the fresh powder. There are few better spots on the planet for those who love the snow and Paradise Inn is an unbeatable place from which to enjoy it all. In the Paradise snow play area, you can enjoy snow tubing and snowboarding, while park rangers offer guided snowshoe walks on weekends from late December through March, leaving from the Paradise Visitor Center.

Sun Mountain Lodge, Methow Valley, Washington

Nestled into the scenic upper end of the Methow Valley where the loudest sounds are from the swish of cross-country skis, Sun Mountain Lodge is the first and largest destination cross-country ski resort in the entire nation with nearly 125 miles of meticulously groomed ski trails set among spectacular scenery. It has a full-service ski shop and expert ski instructors, but that’s not all you can do here in the winter – snowshoeing, ice skating, sleigh rides and alpine skiing are all available too. Guests can stay in the main lodge or in cabins alongside a lake located a little over a mile from the lodge. Each one includes a full kitchen, gas fireplace and a large front porch, ideal for taking in the dark night’s skies with billions of glowing stars – and, occasionally, the aurora borealis.

Lake Quinault Lodge, Washingto

Want to get away for a winter escape but not sure you want to deal with snow? Lake Quinault Lodge on the Olympic Peninsula doesn’t let a little rain get in the way. There’s fun to be had indoors and out with protected hiking trails through old-growth rainforests to explore, a heated indoor pool to splash around in and quality family time to enjoy in the historic lodge’s cozy lobby. Plus, this is the time of year for excellent storm-watching on the nearby beaches too!

Sun Valley, Sun Valley, Idaho

Named for its bright blue skies and frequently sunny weather, Sun Valley is ideal for slope-seekers as well as anyone else in search of an adventurous resort escape. Its stunning snowy landscape offers activities for just about everyone, including Dollar Mountain’s popular tubing hill. A lift whisks tubers to the top of the run where circular tubes spin down the slope at lightning speeds. Sun Valley is famous for its year-round ice shows, and you can even skate on the same ice that’s hosted countless Olympians, or if swimming is your thing, Sun Valley Resort hosts three pools, including its legendary Lodge Pool which offers après ski cocktail service